Warhammer 40,000/7th Edition Tactics/Tyranids

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The 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Tyranids[edit]


Because when you play Tyranids, EVERYTHING is delicious.


  • Model Count: Sooo many... One of the main reasons you're playing Tyranids is for the sheer amount of bodies you can bring on the table, so this isn't much of a surprise. Even so, the only armies that could possibly outnumber you are Renegades, Astra Militarum, and maybe Orks. Your Guant units are cheap, disposable, and come in huge ass squads. "Quantity has a quality of it's own."
  • Nidzilla: You're hard-pressed to find an army with more (Flying) Monstrous Creatures and heavy infantry than Tyranids. Even if you somehow wipe out an entire squad of Gaunts or Warriors, there's still that Carnifex, Hive Tyrant, and Tervigon you have to worry about.
  • Lots of Psykers: Though some wouldn't expect it, Tyranids are just behind Chaos Daemons and Grey Knights when it comes to having the most Psykers in the game, if not having some of the best Psyker units overall. Broodlords, Tervigons, Hive Tyrants, Zoanthropes, and the Swarmlord can stack up a ridiculous amount of Warp Charges.
  • Synapse: While within range of a Synaspe creature (who is already Fearless himself), Tyranids are basically Fearless in every sense of the word. They don't give a fiddler's fuck about how many models they lose if their Hive Tyrant or Tervigon is near them, they just keep moving forward.
  • Flexible: Tyranids can be surprisingly flexible with how they play. They can be centered around close combat or dakka, hordes or Monstrous Creatures, discreet or full frontal assault, in any sort of combination! You can reliably take on most foes and playstyles and win.
  • Variety: The bugs have an absurd amount of units to choose from. While some are certainly more viable than others, the fact that you have a unit for nearly any situation is comforting. Most if not all options can add something to your army.
  • Supplements: For such an undercut army like Tyranids, they have a surprising amount of supplements and formations available for use, namely "Leviathan Rising 1, 2 and 3" and "Shield of Baal: Leviathan." They provide a multitude of formations, allowing even more special combos and rules and extra units.


As many of our lovely members of /tg/ would happily tell you, Tyranids, overall, probably have one of the worst codices in the game come 7th Edition. While there are ways to get around this and the army is still fun to play, it's a fact that you'll definitely lose a few games for mundane reasons before you start winning. These reasons are listed below:

  • Points Inefficiency: Many units, upgrades, and Bio-Artefacts are way too expensive for what they do, Old One Eye and the Norn Crown being the most glaring examples.
  • Complicated: Tyranids easily have the most special rules and weapons out of any codex in the game. Even worse is that many of them are unit specific, so trying to learn your codex will be a goddamn nightmare.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Your entire army is organic, and your heavy units are monstrous creatures. Sure, most of them can take a krak missile to the face several times over and survive and 90% are pretty much immune to small arms fire, but a single squad of kabalite warriors can wreck your very expensive bio-weapons in a single turn.
  • Synapse: Tyranids are basically Fearless... until they walk out Synapse or when a Synapse creature goes splat. When that happens your entire army begins to either eat itself, go to ground, or attack the nearest enemy unit. It's a bit frustrating when your success hinges on a couple units being within range and/or not dying.
  • Situational: Easily the most annoying con, many rules and such are extremely situational in their use. The Warlord Traits are the most unforgivable, with most of them dealing with Night Fighting and Terrain.
  • Painting: While you can have fun with the color schemes, painting Gaunts over and over again and the model details can make Tyranids a pain in the ass to paint and put together. Also, many of the listed weapons don't have available bits, so have fun trying to convert some. (arguably, this could be considered a Pro for some people...)

Warlord Traits[edit]

Luckily, they did forget to restrict us to Tyranid-only Warlord Traits a la the psychic power tables, so you can still roll on the BRB table for your trait. Seriously Just Use the Big Rule Book Warlord Tables because the Tyranid specific ones are extremely Situational (IE FULL OF SUCK)

  1. Nature's Bane – At the beginning of each movement phase select one jungle (forest, trees, swamp, you get the idea) within 12" of the warlord; it becomes dangerous terrain. Unbelievably situational at best because good luck finding a Forest on a City or Desert Table. Better hope for a different one.
  2. Heightened Senses – The warlord and Nids within 12" have Night Vision. Really only comes into play turn one to shoot into the enemy's deployment zone but what in the Tyranid Codex Can shoot across No Man's land? You're bringing three rupture Cannon Tyranofexes perhaps.
  3. Synaptic Lynchpin – The warlord has an 18" synapse range. The Swarmlord gets this by default, which honestly is kind of stupid since Mind Eater would be far more useful for it, and if a non synapse creature rolls the lynchpin trait it turns them into a synapse creature with an extra 6" range to their default Synapse Range.
  4. Mind Eater – 2 VP for independents slain by the warlord in a challenge. Deathleaper gets this by default, which is a waste since it's too fragile to stand up to most ICs. Another WHY? Your Flyrants should be flying not challenging.
  5. Digestive Denial – After deployment, pick one piece of terrain on opponent's side that was NOT paid for, the cover save worsens by one (ie 4+ becomes a 5+, etc.) This can be beneficial if you are doing quite a bit of anti light infantry/vehicle shooting with the Exocrine and is also good generally, but in most cases armour will be the issue, not cover. Meanwhile everyone else has at least several weapons/methods they can use to ignore cover however they want.
  6. Adaptive Biology – The Warlord gains Feel No Pain (5+) on the next movement phase after it suffers a wound for the rest of the game, even if you regenerate it. Old One Eye gets this by default, finally something that makes sense. This is the one you want. But if you have a godly tank of a melee warlord just go for Four.

Powers of the Hive Mind[edit]

This is the only psychic discipline table your psykers will be rolling on (Not any more, Genestealer Cultists now have access to Telekinesis). The good news is most of the powers are good in terms of Blessings and screwing up enemy units. While the Great Devourer can't use Rulebook disciplines, Powers of the Hive Mind still gives you the goodies you need. 7th edition psychic focus means all your psykers get dominion as a bonus power on top of what you roll...Zoanthropes anyone?

Primaris. Dominion: Adds 6" to the Psyker's Synapse Range. Pretty decent, never hurts to give your swarms more breathing room from being crammed up. With the new FAQ for 7th edition out now, Psykers without the synapse rule who cast dominion gain a 6" synapse for the duration of the power.
  1. Catalyst: Psyker and one friendly unit within 12" gains Feel No Pain. What's not to like? Cast this puppy on that 30-strong brood of Devilgaunts in area terrain with a Venomthrope for a 3+ cover 5+ FNP, and anyone who can't bring Ignores Cover S6+ weapons is little more than lunch meat.
  2. DA HORROR!!!: *ahem*, sorry about that. A malediction that makes an enemy unit up to 24" take a pinning test with a -2 modifier. This one is... Okay. Much like Fear, Pinning shouldn't be relied on. Though it can still be useful in certain situations. Broodlords only know this power. (but seriously, the power is 24", and Broodlords+Genestealers can Infiltrate within 18" in plain sight or 12" without line of sight, making mass-Genestealer lists potentially devastating against armies that aren't immune to Pinning)
  3. Onslaught: Oh look, a 24" blessing that lets a unit run AND shoot in the Shooting phase. Makes up for the relatively short range weapons that need to get close quickly like Impaler Cannons, Devourers, Bio-Plasma and Bio-Plasmic Cannons. A good power to have!
  4. Paroxysm: Same as Horror, but instead reducing the unit's Weapon Skill and Ballistic skill by D3 (For both when you roll). Its better because making them shoot at low BS or letting your swarm hit them on 3s is far more useful than Pinning. Makes the Haruspex really good at killing elite infantry, what with the getting an extra attack for every wound it inflicts(new attacks do not generate new attacks). The previous version was better, but let's count our blessings maledictions where we can. The new version does have some differences to the old that are strictly advantageous- Significantly increased range, and it's now a malediction instead of a shooting attack, which means it can still be cast while the user is engaged in combat.
  5. Psychic Scream: What they gave us in place of Doom, but for everyone. Basically a watered down version of Psychic "Shriek" (See the similarities?), instead of 3d6 , you get 2d6 +2. It's a Nova power, but with a range of only 6", it's not so useful. Not as good, but hey, better than nothing, right? EDIT: This power is absolutely splendid against armies with purely psychic units such as Grey Knights, Tyranids and Daemons due to Shadow in the Warp's -3 Ld against Psykers.
  6. Warp Blast: A witchfire that costs 2 WC, and you have a choice between a s5 ap3 Small Blast or s10 ap2 (why? Come on Cruddace you coypasta everything else whynot AP 1 like last edition?) Lance. Both are short range (24" Blast, 18" Lance), but these powers pack a punch. Zoanthropes still know this power by default thankfully.

Melee Weapons[edit]

Not a whole lot in this section, but our close combat weapons are straightforward for what they do.

  • Scything Talons: These got nerfed with Boneswords being right behind these weapons. They no longer you let you reroll ones anymore, so they're now simply AP 6 CCWs. On Monstrous Creatures these are okay if you want to keep them cheap, otherwise the only use Talons will see is to grant units the extra attack since they're free. That's about it. Summary: AP 6 Chainswords.
  • Rending Claws: You know them, you love them. Now they're AP 5, good against Flak Jacket and T-shirt wearing squishes. But their main use is to wound ANYTHING on 6s and ignore armour saves when they do so. For only five rippers, you can't go wrong with these.
  • Boneswords: The other weapon that got hit by the Nerfbat, Boneswords are now AP3 rather than AP2. They also lost the ability to force Leadership checks on 3d6, instant killing those who failed. Now it just instant kills models on an unsaved wound from 6s. Since you're using a pair, would it be hard to ask if it was on a 5+ since the LashBone combo also requires a 6? Otherwise, these are still good, and useful on Hive Tyrants, but for just five extra Devouring Worms you may as well go with the LashBone combo since it outclasses Boneswords (unless of course you're on a budget or want Rending Claws instead).
  • Lash Whips: Exclusive to Venomthropes since Tyrants, Warriors, and Shrikes can only take them together with Boneswords (and Malanthropes have a Grasping Tail, which is an über Lash Whip that only works in challenges), this grants them (and those with the Bonesword combo) +3 Initiative in the Fight sub-phase. Very useful, but has crap AP. You can't use them alone anyway on other units, and it becomes AP3 when paired with the Bonesword. The old lash whips were better since other units in combat with them could benefit from them, and they reduced ALL ENEMY MODELS IN BASE CONTACT TO INITIATIVE 1 (not +3 to your own Initiative, it made enemies Initiative 1).
  • Lash Whip and Bonesword: Same as above, but mixing the two for AP3 attacks plus the Initiative bonus and chance to instant kill on a roll of 6. Another weapon you can't go wrong with. If you have the spare points, slap on rending claws and you won't have to worry about TEQs ever again! (Note that you have to choose one or the other, either ID or rending. Nid CCWs don't stack anymore, except to grant +1A if you have two sets of them, which is nice for CC monsters).
  • Crushing Claws: No longer grant d3 extra attacks, instead they give armourbane and unwieldy as well as being S+1 AP2 and they're now 10pts cheaper. Now worth using on MC since they're both cheaper and MCs aren't affected by the unwieldy special rule. Slap these on Carnifexes (Carnifices? Carnifexen?) for the world's fastest can-opener (S+2D6, a return to the older days of 40K). Baneblades cannot stand up to even two 'fexes with these things. Against even AV 14 you're getting to roll for additional damage 11/13 of the time, with 4 attacks (or 5 on the charge) and a 1 in 6 chance of exploding afterwards.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

Okay, this is going to be the crazy part. The Destroyers of Worlds got a big range of (Pun not intended) Ranged Weapons in the book. To keep this organized and easy to know who can use them, each weapon will be under the selected unit(s) that are equipped with/can exchange to that weapon, and if they're worth using or not.

  • Hive Tyrant Weapons*2:
    • Twin-linked Deathspitter: Cheapest weapon, these are similar to Twin-linked Pulse Carbines, but with extra shots. Pretty decent for its points cost, although it gets overshadowed by this next weapon.
    • Twin-linked Devourer with brainleech worms: Quite a tongue twister, no? In any case, these should be auto include for your Flyrant, because these Devourers are Elite and Horde killers as they dakka two times better than ordinary Devourers and have S6 shots. Two of these can dump 12 shots with rerolls (Plus the fact they're now BS4) and can even glance flyers to death like the StormRaven. As I've said, these are auto include, otherwise you're doing it wrong!
    • Stranglethorn Cannon: Hmm, a S6 AP5 pie plate with Pinning. A walking Tyrant makes better use to these because they aren't as mobile and the weapon above gives Flyrants the best bang for their buck since they can deal more damage. But in the case for the footsloggers, this is the better choice because of its long range at 36" and cause Pinning, making the job easier for your Gaunts. Pretty decent at softening up those Marines before your other units charge in.
    • Heavy Venom Cannon: This version is a S9 AP4 cupcake. This one is meh, while these are Fire/Necron Warrior killers, and can threat Terminators, the blast isn't as good and more than likely cover negates the AP (And theres usually a lot of cover). Situational at best. (Oh, almost forgot. You can only equip one cannon per a model)
  • Tervigon Weapons*2: There ain't much to equip them with, but the Thorax Biomorphs are worth using to make em more versatile. It makes them more expensive, but if the Miasma Cannon too pricey for you, then check out the template weapons below. One of them should make your Tervigon a threat.
  • Termagant Weapons:
    • Fleshborers: The traditional compact-carbine-nest, these are basically Bolt Pistols. A good weapon to stick with although better range would have been nice.
    • Spinefists: Now that these are free, you have a choice between stronger shots or reliable hits. Either way, Spinefists are also good, it will come down to your preference and who you're facing. One thing to keep in mind is that while spinefisfs are slightly worse against most targets, they are better at overwatch by nature of being twin linked. Otherwise, against T1 and 3 fists are best, and against 4 they are equal. Everything else is better killed with fleshborers.
    • Spike Rifle: Another freebie, except this Harpoon Launcher acts more like an Assault 1 Lasgun (IE, even worse). No bits exist, so you will need to do some conversions if you want to use this weapon. They suck. Want to use em anyway? Only use is to add some affordable meat shields for your devilgaunts. Though they only do this as good as the alternatives if you need to stay out of a dangerous threat zone (avoid counter attacking flamers, melee units etc) The range can make the overall damage output not terrible compared to it's brothers against minimal toughness units and any who won't care about ap 5. Their ONLY advantage over devourers is affordability/durability, so tailor the ratio. More SR for more bodies more devs for power. Laugh as your opponent wipes out sad spike gaunts to get to your devils, especially if they have more important things to worry about.
    • Devourer: A favorite by many, this thing has a good amount of dakka for the price of a Termagant, meaning you'll pay twice the price of a Gaunt. But for having longer range, granting you strong slugs (Or worms) and just outgun the rest of the options, how can you argue for its expensive cost? A fantastic choice IF you can afford them. A 30 strong brood with these things can and will slaughter any other infantry on the map if they are caught in the open in range of the entire brood.
    • Strangleweb: Huh, forgot to include this in the list. Anyway, every ten Gaunts in the unit can take this weapon for- wait, it's 5pts? Oh, its a Template weapon, okay that's fine, and they're... S2 Ap- and Pinning? Ugh, maybe it was best to not bother mentioning this crappy web shooter. Just take Devourers, or stick with your Fleshborers. The Template damage is too weak and Harpy's with Stranglethorn Cannons does a better job Pinning down entrenched units. You only have to cover two MEQs with the template to beat the wound output of a fleshborer, so for 5 pts it might not be a terrible investment.
    • Mixed Weapons: The big change and lets be honest other than point cost reductions the only important option is that you can now throw a row of othergaunts in front of your Devilgaunts.
  • Warriors/Shrikes/Prime*1 Weapons:
    • Devourer: The default weapon, it gives then the dakka they need. Good to keep overall.
    • Spinefists: Why would you give up the Devourers for these? Jokes aside, these are decent since they're AP 5. They're more useful on Shrikes since they're faster, but in most cases the Devourer outclasses Spinefists, in terms of range and damage output.
    • Deathspitter: Even more deadly than Devourers, your get S+1 and AP5 for 5pts a pop. Solid choice if Devourers aren't doing it for you.
    • Barbed Strangler*1 : A S4 AP5 pie plate Not bad, but with BS3 (For Warriors and Shrikes), it would be difficult to land a hit, even more so to wound if they're MEQs or in cover. If a Prime is with them, sure it can be useful.
    • Venom Cannon*1 : Stronger with S6 AP4, but they're small blast. As mentioned above, you should save the points for something else unless the Prime is hanging out with them. (Note, like the Hive Tyrant you can take only one of these blast weapons per unit)
  • Rippers/Sky-Slashers Spinefists: You don't get these for free this time, and cost a Termagant each. In friendly games they're great, but in general don't bother as it makes them more expensive. If they were half the price, then they would be an auto take.
    • Now in 7th edition units with the Swarms USR are proper scoring so now that deep-striking these lil' gribblies is an option, Spinefists now give the Rippers something to do with 12+ twin-lined shots on the turn they arrive before heading towards the prey on that objective.
  • Hive Guard Weapons:
    • Impaler Cannon: Awesome. Krak Missles that Ignores Cover and don't require line of sight makes these a must have. Short range and AP4 tho, but they're still awesome. Hive Guard earned the name of premier transport hunter in the game thanks to these guns.
    • Shockcannon: Not as good because they don't Ignore Cover, even shorter at range, and you need line of sight. Being blast and Haywire makes them good at glancing all vehicles and even penetrate on 6s. If Shockcannons were free to swap (And don't require line of sight), then they would be worth considering. As it is, save the points and stick with Impaler Cannons.
  • Pyrovore Flamespurt: Basiclly a Heavy Flamer. No need to go into details since you won't be using them sadly.
  • Haruspex Grasping Tongue: If you're familier with the Bloodthirster's whip, then this is the Tyranid's version, but with Gulp! If you roll a six to hit, it counts as a presicion shot! Useful when you roll it, you can pick which TEQ you want to eat!
  • Gargoyle Fleshborers: Not much different here, but since they're jump infantry, they can get closer and get more shots in.
  • Ravener Weapons:
    • Spinefists: Cheapest out of the three, with a good number of shots/attacks and with them being Beasts plus their mediocre BS, these are a great pairing for the two. Good to put on a couple of Raveners.
    • Devourer: Couple of points more to equip, otherwise same weapon as other units.
    • Deathspitter: What the hell?! 10pts per a model? Well they certainly are better than Devourer, but damn it's expensive. If you want a fast moving model that can use a Deathspitter, consider using them on Shrikes since they're both cheaper and generally a better unit because they're Synapse Creatures. Otherwise it's a decent choice.
  • Harpy Weapons:
    • Twin-linked Stranglethorn cannon: A single S6, AP5, Pinning Large Blast, with the added benefit of being twin-linked. This is going to increase the Harpy's role in meat-grinding infantry, which is largely it's most important role. The only time this loadout will fail to disappoint is when your opponent is fully mechanized. Which leads to the next weapon choice.
    • Twin-linked Heavy Venom cannon: This costs 5 points more that may be an up/downgrade depending on how you use it. The S9 on this weapon is going to allow you to instant-death T4 units, but first consider how many of those models you're going to hit. Most multi-wound models are typically on medium bases. Disregarding the twin-linked attribute, when spread out, (or even slightly spaced apart) you're only going to hit one or two models at best. Instead, intend to use the HVC in tandem with the speed of the FMC for taking out side armor on transports.
    • Spore Mine Cysts: Being S4 AP4 and Barrage, this makes Orks, Tau, and the like scare their infantry with the amount of damage it can deal. Cover won't save them this time! If the Harpy misses, then she drops d3 Spore Mines on the place it lands. See the unit for more details.
  • Hive Crone Weapons:
    • Drool Cannon: This mouth watering template will scare the pants off of light infantry, although it lacks Torrent (And the ability to shoot from any direction) and it doesn't ignore MEQ saves as always. Still, not bad of a weapon.
      • Even though, ironically, the Crone can fire any weapon 360 degress because it's a FMC and not a vehicle, and now the Heldrake cannot.
    • Tentaclids: Sweet Hive Mind, Seeking and Haywire missiles? Now we have a way to deal with flyers aside our special Vector Stirke. Dark Angel players wished their Blacksword missiles had these rules. The downside? One use only, and you have four, so use them wisely. Ironically, the Seeking rule makes the Hive Crone more accurate against units in the air than units on the ground.
  • Carnifex Weapons:
    • Bio-Plasma: A somewhat useless weapon upgrade. With a 12" firing range, most units Bio-Plasma is good at taking out are also amazingly good at anal-plowing Carnifexes. Now consider this, taking Bio-Plasma on a dakkafex is going to impair the ability to fire two Brainleech Devourers, something you paid to use. Taking Bio-Plasma on bare bones Carnifexes is just asking for trouble, as you'd have to deliberately get in range of dangerous units and then only be able to assault them since you shot at them. Avoid taking unless you have a hardon for acid-drooling mouths (I do).
    • Twin-linked Deathspitters: Again, this should be considered using if you're low on points, especially if you want to run three in a Brood or use one in low point games. Beyond that, this weapon lacks the awesome power this next weapon holds.
    • Twin-linked Devourers with Brainleech Worms: Geez, there's the long name again! But seriously, if you didn't equip your Carnifexes with these weapons, punch yourself in the face real hard. These are popular for the same reason as why Hive Tyrants use these, except you're still stuck with BS3. With two Brainleech Devourers, this set up only cost 150 pts, so take another Carnifex if you want more Dakka! Much like the Hive Tyrant, accept no substitute.
    • Stranglethorn Cannon: Better than a Heavy Venom cannon -- situationally better than Brainleech Devourers. Consider taking if you don't want to put your Carnifexes in range of your opponents short to medium range firepower. If your looking for a mix of melee and shooting for your Carnifexes, however, taking this and Crushing Claws will cost the same as a Dakkafex. While not as awesome, it's still a good choice. Pinning can also play a role in some situations.
    • Heavy Venom Cannon: These should typically be avoided on Carnifexes. You're going to spend a lot of points on a unit that is going to be outshined by other units that perform the same role. They lack the mobility to hit anything but front armor, have BS3 SMALL blast, and can't handle air units like Brainleech Devourers can.
  • Biovore Spore Mine Launcher: Excellent cheap pie plates with Barrage on a 3 wound Brood, they excel at killing light infantry behind cover. Drop these on a unit sitting on an objective, and use their blood and body parts to make yourself some salsa when victory is yours.
  • Trygon Bio-Electric Pulse: These mind bullets are the bane to light infantrys as not only they have strong shots, but the fact the Trygon can Overwatch, which can surprise new players that weren't expecting to recieve return fire for charging in.
    • Trygon Prime Bio-Electric Pulse with Containment Spines: A beefed up version, extra range and dakka for the Prime. This puts it on par with two Twin-linked Brainleech Devourers, as AP5 can be an advantage in some cases.
  • Exocrine Bio-Plasmic Cannon: If you think the Bio-Plasma is weak sauce, then you're going to love this. The option to switch from Large Blast or Assault 6 Plasma shots makes this a must have as the versatility of this Plasma Cannon is awesome. Best of all, it lacks the Gets Hot rule, so find a place to sit to get the extra BS point, and start blasting shit!
  • Tyrannofex Weapons
    • Acid Spray: It's a Drool Cannon with Torrent added to it. This one is ment to take away cover from infantry that relies on them, and S6 is terrifying to boot.
    • Fleshborer Hive: Wow, an Assault 20 bolter at 18". While not as impressive as the Acid Spray, it's a five point upgrade and is meant to take on blobs like Boyz and Cultists. But at BS3, about half the shots will hit. It still haves it's uses tho, so it isn't a terrible weapon.
    • Rupture Cannon: Now with Smash getting nerfed, the Rupture Cannon can find some use in taking on tanks. Don't expect to blow up Land Raiders with this, but it can help take a hull point or two off. Combine this with a Carnifex with Crushing Claws, and you have a way to deal with mech lists.
  • Thorax Biomorphs: Template weapons that're all 10pts. Only one can be taken per model. These are your choices:
    • Desiccator Larvae: A Fleshbane template with no AP value. Useful on high Toughness units and Daemons.
    • Electroshock Grubs: Pulse Rifle template plus Haywire. Probably the best against Hordes and Vehicles before charging in. If a walker charges a model with this thing the look on your opponents face will make the 10 points back straight away.
    • Sherddershard Beetles: S3 with Rending and Shred. This is your TEQ killer right here.
      • These can NOT be fired any longer in addition to other weapons, kinda takes some of their punch. Nice to throw on a model you want to have two shooting attacks without giving up an artefact/melee weapon.

(*1 = Cannot equip the weapon. *2 = May equip a Thorax Biomorph.)

There's more to come. Stay tune /tg/


Yes, they're really called Bio-Artefacts. Really. As you might expect from the rest of the Codex, most of these are of situational use at best.

  • Maaaaaw-Claaaaaws (of Thyrax): They're Rending Claws with Assimilate, so the model using them gets to say "resistance is futile". Jokes aside it gives the bug Preferred Enemy against an entire Codex the first time it kills a model from that Codex in close combat. So pretty much a not so good Malanthrope... It sounds neat and it's fairly cheap; however, it suffers the same issue as the Dimensional Key in Chaos Marines and Porta-Rack in Dark Angels: by the time you unlock Preferred Enemy (which isn't exactly super-amazing on a single unit anyway) the game will already be mostly over. Still, if you were planning to take Rending Claws anyway, this is a decent choice. You might want to consider giving them to a Trygon Prime: while some of the bonuses are lost on a Monstrous Creature, Preferred Enemy might very well prove the difference between wiping a unit/vehicle or being stuck in another round of combat. A flying Hive Tyrant makes the best use as he can get to combat very quickly and makes him strike at S7 with Smash. It's also cheaper than Old Adversary, plus it's a CCW, so for a Close combat or a mixed Flying Hive Tyrant, you can't go wrong.
    • Alternative Opinion:Snap the Maw Claws on a Tyranid Prime in a unit of 20-30 gants/gaunts of your choice and make him your Warlord. Not only does this give the entire unit Preferred Enemy if the Prime kills a model in CC but it also means your opponent has to chew through 20-30 wounds to kill your Warlord
  • Miasma Cannon: It's an Assault 1, Poisoned (2+) shot with AP 4 and a choice of 36" Blast or Template. It's... alright, but AP 4 is a pretty big handicap against everyone that isn't 'Nids, Orks, Imperial Guard, Dark Eldar or Tau, although some Eldar lists will hate it too. Also you occasionally get Marines spamming scouts trying to be a wannabe ranger army, but still. . . You do get Ignores Cover on the Template. Still, it's 25 points, which is usually better spent elsewhere. That said, adding it to a Trygon/Trygon Prime gives it two shooting attacks when it deep strikes.. adding it to a Tervigon gives it a ranged attack at 36".. there are applications, but they all involve consolidating your points in your MCs, it's up to you how much you want to do that.
    • Alternative Take: Equip this bad boy to a Trygon Prime, pop it up right next to those irritating scouts/eldar/guard or anything with a low armor save and flamer template them into oblivion! Anything that survives can eat the rest of the shooting from the Trygon Prime. Alternatively slap it on a Tyranid Prime, and stick him with Dakkafexes and you have a good ranged unit. It's only 5 pts more than the Venom Cannon and it's the only one the Prime can equip, so why not?
    • A Second Alternative Take: Put this on a troop tervigon have it sit on a backfield objective (with bivores and an exocrine if you like and provide synapse) if anything comes to close suddenly their being attacked and shot at by termagants for a round.
  • The Norn Crown: The Norn Crown isn't actually an item that you can take. If you actually take it in an army list, you will automatically be sent a letter to join the Games Workshop Design Studio, because clearly you're bad enough at determining balance that you'll fit right in! It adds 6" to the user's Synapse range. For 40 points. You know, that same thing that a Warlord Trait and the Primaris power do. Okay, so, sure, you can extend Synapse to a really far range if you combine the three (for a synapse range of 30 inches), and you might not have a choice if your army list consists of one Synapse creature and two hundred Gaunts or something. But, seriously. 40 points.Situational at absolute best.
    • Alternative Opinion: While this upgrade is laughable, remember that both the Tyranid and Trygon Prime isn't a Psyker, and the Tervigon can only cast one power. This is when the Norn Crown comes in. While it's expensive (An appropriate word I would give this Artefact), Synapse is very important in this edition. The Primes can definitely find use, either coming in via deep strike and act as a back up Synapses Creature, be able to footslog with a lot of Gaunts and can cast one of the powers from the PotHM, or stay in the backfield babysitting Biovores and Gaunts on an objective. Again, while expensive, some will still pay for it on those that needs it without wasting their power, or can't use the power, -Dominion.
  • The Ymgarl Factor: So, Ymgarl Genestealers were removed (guess they rejoined a hive fleet like they wanted), but they get a cameo of sorts in this Bio-Artefact. Each turn, a model with this Bio-Artefact gets to pick one of three upgrades (similar to Obliterators, albeit with upgrades instead of weapons), of which the most important is +1 to armour save. Now, this is pretty nice, but there are some pretty big caveats. First, you can only change it at the beginning of the Assault phase. Second, you must change each turn. Finally, it's 40 points. A permanent +1 to armour save might have been worth it, but you're going to have to switch every other turn even after you do get into combat so it's not exactly consistent and with its effectiveness only extending to the assault phase it's only worth it on a fast monster you don't want to get rocket sniped to death as it crosses the board in one or two turns. (These boosts only last for the Assault phase and not the turn)
  • Reaper of Obliterax: The Reaper tries (and mostly fails) to be a bonesword & lashwhip + 1, which is to say it's a bonesword/lashwhip combo that also has a +1 S bonus and Shred. For 25 points more than a normal Lash Whip and Bonesword, though only 15 points more than a Lashbone and Toxin Sacs, if you don't mind wounding T8 a little less often. Excepting of course the fact that you can put it on a Trygon Prime. A Mother Fucking Multi Armed Sword Wielding Snake Monster. Model one up with tits and you can run Shiva all over the place eating everything. The basic here is that the Lashbone is only available to a few units and the artifact makes it available to a few more albeit at higher points. If you want a Tervigon to actually be threatening in close combat, you can add this to it too, making it swing at initiative 5 so it's actually a problem for power sword-wielding Marines. Also worth mentioning that re-rolling wounds makes getting that 6 for ID even more likely, which could come up if you didn't take toxin sacs or the re-roll from toxin sacs doesn't apply.
    • Alternative Opinion: A Hive Tyrant with the Reaper of Obliterax can strike at the same time as a Daemon Prince, hit's harder than he does, ignores his power armor at AP2, and can instant death him on a 6 (With a Shred reroll don't forget)This is one of the few ways in which a Tyranid can best a Prince in close combat (another way being the SWARMLORD). *WARNING*: DO NOT Send this Hive Tyrant after any Greater Daemons other than the Lord of Change and perhaps the Unclean one. You will die horribly if you think the Reaper of Obliterax can help you solo a Bloodthirster (the Swarmlord can)
      • But a Hive Tyrant with an ordinary Lashbone and Toxin Sacs does the exact same thing for less points.
        • Not against things like wraithlords, where they are tougher. If a wraithknight runs at you, or you try to get a stormsurge, poison means jackshit, so there is that.


  • Acid Blood: For every unsaved wound the bug takes the enemy unit makes an Initiative test and suffers a S5 AP2 hit for every failed one. Better then Ichor Blood (CSM), worse than Burning Blood(Daemons). Can be hilarious when that one surviving terminator who just killed your monster gets melted by his own attack and you still get the kill point.
  • Adrenal Glands: Fleet and Furious Charge, cheaper for units that already have Fleet. Except Trygons.
  • Regeneration: It Will Not Die on a 4+. This is amazing on monsters, except when the opponent actually understands how to shoot an MC to death in one turn, in which case you just wasted (cost of unit)+30 points.
  • Toxic Miasma: All enemies in The entire assault take a S3 AP- Poisoned (4+) hit at initiative step 1. One use only.
  • Toxin Sacs: Poisoned (4+) for melee. Decent on Gaunts although expensive
  • Spine Banks: Count-as assault grenades, same profile as a thrown frag grenade too except the entire brood can fire them off.
  • Flesh Hooks: Your other source of pseudo-assault grenades; 6" S user and Assault 2. No longer Rending.
  • Wings: Slap these on a Tyrant and start up your own Flying Circus.

Tail Biomorphs none of these benefit from any other biomorphs or blessings. WYSIWYG. Does it benefit from unit type rules? i.e. Carnifex monstrous creature smash effect to ignore armor in close combat? No, this is specifically ruled against. Also does not benefit from adrenal glands or toxin sacs.

  • Mace Tail: S8 AP- and Unwieldy. Amusingly you can ignore the Unwieldy part since the only units that can take it are MCs, and it's the unwieldy rule itself that allows MCs to ignore it, and not any property or rule of monstrous creatures themselves.
  • Prehensile Pincher: S6 AP5. (Red Terror is stuck with this. Which is great, since it has a better S and AP than the Red Terror does with the rest of its attacks) (yeah but this doesn't count toward the swallow whole attack)
  • Thresher Scythe: S4 AP4 Rending.
  • Toxinspike: S1 AP6 Poisoned (2+).

Unit Analysis[edit]

7th edition for Tyranids, a couple of points that apply to the changes of the race overall.

  • Psychic Powers: Unfortunately Tyranids at present cannot swap or exchange psychic powers for any powers within the psychic disciplines. (No longer as they can now take 2 units that can generate their powers from the Telekenesis tree, Oh the mind games to be had.) They may only use Powers of the Hive Mind. Yes, no more Main Rule Book psychic disciplines. This is an ENORMOUS nerf as it means the Tyranids no longer have any source of Eternal Warrior, making MC-heavy lists especially vulnerable to any source of the Instant Death rule (Distort weapons, force weapons, etc). The only real benefit the 7E Psychic rules have is that now all psykers get Dominion for free. Make the best of it.
  • Poison: New rules for poison let you use your strength if it's better, while gaining a reroll on the wound if your S exceeds the T of the defender. Monstrous creatures can get Toxin Sacs for mere pennies and the upgrade is now highly recommended for them with how they redid Smash. Sure, you lose out on the heavy hits by getting only one Sx2 hit, but you also get all your non-HoW attacks at AP2.
  • New Instinctive Behavior Rules: Each Behavior has one of 3 results- roll a d6 to determine which one, with the first being 1-3, the second being 4-5, and the third only occurring on a 6. Given that the first (and most common one) is always the worst, keep your best units in synapse range- nothing could be more humiliating than having two members of a Carnifex brood eat each other because they moved too far away from their synapse creature.
    • Lurk: 1-3 Fall Back / 4-5 Can shoot only when in cover / 6 Can shoot only when in cover, gains Stealth
    • Hunt: 1-3 Go to Ground / 4-5 Shoot closest unit / 6 Shoot closest enemy unit, gains Preferred Enemy
    • Feed: 1-3 Inflicts hits on themselves / 4-5 Charge closest enemy unit / 6 Charge closest enemy unit, gains Rage
      • Single model units ignore Feed 1-3 results, instead acting as if they rolled a 4 or 5.
      • Fearless models ignore Hunt 1-3 results, instead acting as if they rolled a 4 or 5.
  • A pair of melee biomorphs is now considered to be only 1 CCW, in a bit of initially-awkward streamlining. The intended equivalence is "my Space Marine has only one Chainsword" -> "my Tyranid has only one Pair of Talons". The end result of this streamlining: a lower number of attacks all around - for some units that exchange talons for guns. Hive Tyrants, Tyranid Primes, Warriors, Shrikes, Genestealers, and Broodlords have the same number of attacks on their profile as they did in the last codex, but can now take two sets of melee weapons for a net increase in attacks (no scything rerolls though. Still more attacks.) Hint: Give your broodlord an extra attack for 4 pts.

HQ Units[edit]

  • Hive Tyrant: Now with BS 4. The Hive Tyrant is often regarded as the "leader" of the Hive because they are gigantic monsters with synapse power. Synapse keeps all the little monsters from running around out of your control, therefore the Hive Tyrant is the boss. Unfortunately, Hive Tyrants are very expensive in the 7th edition, clocking in at 1.65x the cost of any no-name Space Marine HQ base but lacking invulnerable saves or the ability to join any squads (Tyrant Guard are a special case, Hive Tyrants are never Independent Characters and cannot leave a unit of Tyrant Guard once they join it) and tend to get focus-fired to death when on their own. Their upgrades are also pretty expensive, but they sport a good range of versatility that can make or break the Tyrant on the battlefield such as wings or toxin sacs. Hive Commander and Old Adversary are worthy upgrades, HC gives a friendly unit Outflank, while OA is Prefered Enemy (Everything!) in close combat only now. And it's no longer an AoE upgrade. However, Tyrants can now take multiples of those. Indescribable Horror is okay, but many armies either ignore Fear or have high Ld. If you consider taking one of these without either wings or tyrant guard in a game bigger than 500, punch yourself in the face - hard.
    • Winged Tyrants: now count as FMC and can soar above the battlefield raining down death or landing into assaults. A note on the new glancing rules for vehicles; it's quite easy to get to the softer side and rear arcs on most vehicles with the tyrant's newfound mobility, and 12 Twin-Linked Strength 6 shots average 5.333 [Whoo hoo BS4] hull points on AV10 and 3.556 hull points on AV11. Splendid! In 7th edition, wings make the Tyrant MUCH more survivable. Tyrant can no longer get a 2+ armor save so tyrant guard are a must as everything with the word power in it will shank him. Since Nids lack effective anti-air, Wings are the only real option now that they can no longer use Armored Shell. It bears noting that Flyrants are much cheaper, and with slightly more viable FA FMCs the possibility of saturated flying circus gets scary especially with double chart [not that anyone does that]. They also get two powers translating to a 1:3 chance of getting Warp lance. Flying Tyrants with the Ymgarl factor are actually a viable choice since they can now ignore air defence batteries for the one turn that they need to destroy them.
    • Walking Tyrant: If you do choose to footslog (and there's a reason it's called foot slogging), there are a few misleading loadouts to recognize. Heavy Venom Cannons are a waste of the Tyrant's potential. People consider combining the Stranglethorn with the Miasma Cannon for anti-infantry. Don't do this. It is expensive at 40 points. The Miasma cannon is only a SMALL blast, and if you want to get in range to be using its template mode, then you might as well be using the Devourers with Brainleech Worms. Speaking of Devourers, don't take these. If you're using short ranged guns, you might as well be taking Wings for a few reasons. While you're in combat, you're wasting the points you spent on Devourers while simultaneously inhibiting the Tyrant's full combat potential. While you're outside of combat, your expensive Tyrant Guard remain only as extra wounds instead of close combat beasts. Equip your Tyrants for what they'll be best at -- close combat. Give him Old Adversary and call it a day. If you're playing against high initiative armies, give him a Lash Whip and Bonesword.
      • Another Opinion: A Hive Tyrant without Wings is more reliable in getting to close combat. The reason why you should give him a Stranglethorn Cannon is to give him a ranged weapon so he can shoot at the enemy back, plus Pinning helps your swarm a lot. A recommended loadout is to give him, as previously mentioned, the Lash Whip and Bonesword with either the Stranglethorn or the Miasma Cannon. The latter is much better, as for only five points more than the Venom Cannon, it has poisoned (2+), and it can be converted into a template, which also wounds on a 2+. Although it can't do much against vehicles, its versatility makes up for that. The cannon makes him versatile and he has enough attacks to go against other Monstrous Creatures and Walkers. If you just want to rip and tear infantry and the like, the winged Hive Tyrant is a better choice overall.
    • Tyrant Guard: They're S5, T6 with 2 wounds, 3+ armor, Rending Claws and Scything Talons. If you're planning on footslogging the Swarmlord across the board, Tyrant Guard are your means to get them there. They're really handy, but would 3 wounds and/or a 2+ armor save be too much to ask for? They are stated to be pound for pound the most well armoured tyranids; for fuck's sake, the Hive Mind decided not to give them eyes so the enemy couldn't shoot those and they stole the space marines' fused ribs and black carapace (although the black carapace improves neural connectivity with worn armour, rather than durability)! Still, Tyrant Guards can automatically take Look Out, Sir wounds from the Hive Tyrant and Swarmlord without rolling, so you can now place them in the back and troll your opponent with 5th edition wound allocation! Additionally, they can now take a lashwhip/bonesword or crushing claws, which will give them S6, ap2, armourbane, and unwieldy. It's an interesting use for Tyrant guards, but conditional, especially if you opt for the Tyrannocyte (as the Tyrant will fill one up by himself due to the transport capacity).
      • Bizarre Note: In the list that won LVO 2015, two Flyrants from the Leviathan detachment *each* took a single Tyrant Guard w/ Adrenal Glands. Now, this may sound absolutely insane; after all, wouldn't attaching Flyrants to an infantry unit defeat the point of them having wings? There are no rules that actually require you to run Tyrants and Tyrant Guard in the same unit, so the player just ran the two solo Tyrant Guard as objective-grabbers/campers while his flyrants did their thing. With a 3+ save and toughness 6, it would take dedicated heavy weapons to shift them off, and with enough other targets...
      • Stupid note: Due to a poorly worded FAQ to the BRB, they can't RAW be attached to a hive tyrant anymore. Hopefully no one you play with would seriously try to enforce this, unless they are a WAAC (win at all costs) asshole, and completely missed the entire point of Tyrant Guard existing.
  • Exerpt from jy2 on DakkaDakka Tactics:

The Hive Tyrant is the heart of the competitive Tyranid army, especially when you give him wings and some guns. He works best with Wings, 2x twin-linked Brainleech Devourers and Electroshock Grubs. He is a major force-multiplier that helps the Tyranid army in so many categories, including:

1. Reliable anti-tank with Devourers and Electroshock Grubs.

2. Excellent mobility as a flying monstrous creature. Can threaten enemy targets almost anywhere on the table.

3. Mobile Synapse.

4. Psychic support for the army.

5. He is a major offensive threat in the army and the best shooter in the army.

6. The best anti-air offense in the army.

7. Bullet magnet that can soak up a lot of enemy firepower and still survive. This helps to make the rest of the army more survivable.

The major weakness of the shooty flyrant is that he will have problems against 2+ save units due to the lack of AP2 shooting. He is also mediocre in Assault. He can beat non-dedicated assault units, but you really don't want him getting into combat with any dedicated assault units due to a lack of an Invulnerable save on it.

There are also 2 other Hive Tyrants. The close-combat Tyrant and the walking Tyrant (or walkrant). The cc-tyrant isn't really an optimal load-out because, once again, the lack of a Invulnerable save in close combat is a weakness when going up against enemy dedicated assault units. Also, if the cc-tyrant kills the enemy on the wrong turn (i.e. kills it on the Tyrant's turn), then he is open to getting shot at while on the ground by then enemy. In a competitive Tyranid army, there is no question that the shooty tyrant outclasses the cc-tyrant. The shooty tyrant can contribute to the Tyranid offense without putting itself at unnecessary risk, whereas the cc-tyrant cannot contribute to the Tyranid offense unless it puts itself at risk.

The walkrant can be used as an anchor to a primarily ground-based Tyranid force. He can be quite survivable if you attach some Tyrant Guards to it. However, this type of tyrant lacks the mobility of the flyrant and, as a result, lacks flexibility as well. It takes him longer to contribute (whereas the flyrant can contribute right away) and also allows the enemy more time to shoot at it and its army while it slowly marches up towards the enemy. You could put the walkrant in a Tyrannocyte spore to give him some mobility, but if you do so, then you will be better off putting the Swarmlord or a dakkafex in there instead. From a competitive standpoint, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to take a walkrant over a flyrant.

Grades: A+ (dakka flyrant), B (shooty walkrant), C (cc-flyrant), D (cc-walkrant)
  • Tervigon: Tervigons were the bread and butter of the last Tyranid codex, but now they've sadly taken the brunt of the nerfing. While they are listed as an HQ choice, they should always be taken as troops because there's a reason why no other codex can have ObSec Psyker Monstrous Creatures (hint: it's cheesy). Of course, there's a catch to this -- you need to have 30 Gaunts in your army for each Tervigon you want to field as a Troops choice, and the Gaunts can't move or assault on the turn they spawn. On top of the 35 point increase for the Tervigon itself, that means that the cost of using a single Tervigon as a Troops choice has gone up by 105 points! Tervigons are really simple to use too, as besides just keeping them on objectives, all you have to worry about is when to spawn and when you know her time is up. If you care at all about the Tervigon's ability to actually fight in close combat, feel free to throw Maw-claws of Thyrax on it for 10pts. 15 pts is okay for Crushing Claws, but at the same time the Tervi's Initiative is 2 whether you take Claws or not. Still, 15pts isn't awful for the considerable anti armour power (not that MCs in general need any help against armor in assault. Consider taking the Reaper instead, it pushes the Tervi up to initiative 5). Also, keep in mind that Brood Progenitor no longer gives Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands to entire broods of Termagants, but Counter Attack instead, and the buff is now a 12" bubble. Counter Attack no longer requires a Leadership test, so now the buff is worth using on your Termagants. That said, any termagants spawned from the Tervigon will be codex gaunts. There's no way to give them other upgrades and the newly spawned gaunts won't be able to move or assault on the turn they're spawned, making them easy targets for anything with access to pie plates. On top of that, if the enemy is smart enough to aim for the Tervigon with a high strength, AP3 or better weapon and actually pops her, all those gaunts are going to get faceraped harder than ever before now that the psychic backlash radius is doubled (so weigh the cost/benefits of taking Regeneration on her, it tends to be helpful, most armies are unlikely to kill the entire monster in one turn giving her a chance to heal quite a lot). They're still worth fielding as Tervigons still help out the army, but you can't run an army of them anymore as it'll be very expensive. Can still be your warlord if you have no characters which, seeing as you're playing tyranids is quite likely, so it's best to use them as buffers for your Gaunts and non-synapse units (With the Primaris blessing). Alternatively rules as written; you can now spawn (after the move) on a turn you outflank the mama-bug with the Tyrant's Hive Commander ability. tl;dr - Take Tervigon as Troops, spawn Termagants, move them to a different Synapse Creature before they get Backlashed, profit.
  • Tyranid Prime: Last edition the Prime was a middleweight boxer fighting in a lightweight division. Now he clocks in at 125 points. His only upgrade, aside from the Wargear table, is Flesh Hooks. In addition you can take anything from the Bio-Artifacts, basic bio-weapons, and melee bio-weapons. However, once all is said and done, the only upgrades you want to look at are Boneswords, Lash Whips, and the Norn Crown. The upgrades are pretty explanatory; ignore everything else because they're either too expensive or ill-suited for the unit. The most important aspect to discuss is its special rules. Synapse Creature, Shadow in the Warp, and Independent Character. These rules constitute for the exaggerated price of the HQ. Putting the Prime in a unit will make it the only implacable Synapse unit in the codex. This allows the Prime for Look Out, Sir exploits too. Place it in front of Gaunts to allocate wounds to the models just behind him. Unfortunately, Independent Characters can't join Monstrous Creatures, so no Tyranid Prime hanging out with the Carnifexes. Overall, an expensive support HQ that will earn its points back if you utilize its full potential.
  • Exerpt from Unyielding Hunger on DakkaDakka Tactics:

The Tyranid Prime is the cheap man's HQ. It is not a Tyrant. It will not wade into a horde of soldiers and kill anything with impunity. It will not easily kill any major special characters and most generics that have been kitted out. The Tyranid Prime is not there to lead the horde from the front, but to support it.

1. It's the only Independent Character left in the codex.

2. It's one of the few to have the option to buy assault grenades.

3. It's moderately versatile.

4. It's cheap.

Lets be frank.You took this because its cheap. You didn't take it for durability because it has very little in that regard. A single lucky S10 hit is going to take him out. So, keep that in mind as you kit it because your looking at the only Tyranid HQ with a permanent kick me sign on it's much-more-expensive-this-edition back. If you are taking this, you had better be going for overkill in your other slots because you will need to pick up the slack.

To go into the basic options, you are looking at a Tyranid Warrior with boosted stat line but with some catches. The Tyranid Prime can only bring its stat line to real benefit inside a unit of Warriors who also benefit from several boosted stats. So, to put it bluntly, your paying the price of a Flyrant and then some for 12 wounds at majority toughness 4 with Look out Sir to keep your HQ alive. This will only make it a much larger target and fair easier to kill. So, why bother? Simple, Bio-artefacts. The Tyranid Prime can pick up the Miasma Cannon which with its stateline, is a fairly good option to get some shots in, and it can function in tandem with a small unit of warriors armed with a barbed strangler to ensure some good output. Beyond that, if you are feeling bold, the Norn Crown is an expensive but useful option to put on this thing. Just make sure to not go overboard on options, because this thing will have quite a bit gunning for it. For close combat, a light approach of Maw Claws of Thyrax, Flesh Hooks, and a Lashwhip and Bonesword will carry it through most conflicts fairly comfortably at 160 points with some good benefits if it goes hunting characters.

For transportation purposes, it can use a Trygon tunnel or a pod at a cost. The best option is to take a pod with a small retinue of 3-4 warriors and use them like a tactical squad of terminators. Upon landing, use the boosted ballistic skill to fire into whatever your target it, and prepare for assault in the next turn. The pod can also make up for the lack of bodies because it also has multiple devourers to help weaken the enemy unit. If you upgraded your retinue's melee weapons to rending claws, you can get a bit more mileage out of them and hopefully wipe out a unit in the following turn. Another option in the pod in a group of 17 toxigaunts which their Prime babysitter. A LW/BS and Scything Talon combination will cause large amounts of concern to high toughness multi-wound models. The Prime is given plenty of ablative wounds and the toxigaunts are ensured to make it into assault without risking a fall back or mauling each other, which helps ensure that whatever this unit is dedicated to taking down is tarpitted and killed.

Grades: A (Miasma Prime), B+ (Pod Prime), C (Vanilla)

Special Characters[edit]

  • The Swarmlord: The ancient unstoppable Swarmlord is a model begging to be a part of a "Deathstar" unit. Reason being that the Swarmlord is massive, devastatingly powerful, unreasonably expensive (in fact it got a price increase in the codex, but a minor one at 5pts), possesses a high demand for resources during the game, and has laughably stupid weaknesses for all it took to get the damn thing. The Swarmlord basically reads like a simple flow chart; is he in assault? if no: get into assault, if yes: win assault. Its most glaring weakness is hitting it with six Krak missiles or any equivalent will statistically put it down without a fight since every missile wounds on a 2+ and ignores the damn thing's armor save. However, the Swarmlord is a Psyker (Mastery Level 3) and has several special abilities that buff either himself or nearby units in varying ways. It also gets an invulnerable save in close combat and has a ridiculously high WS. If it is in close combat, it will seriously skullfuck whatever it's fighting. It also gets to add 1 to all its reserve rolls and can give its unit or a friendly unit within 18" Furious Charge, Monster Hunter, or Preferred Enemy till end of turn. But with only an invulnerable save in close combat, and lacking the ability to roll for a Warlord Trait or Eternal Warrior, it's nowhere even close to being the death machine it used to be especially without the old glory of biomancy. Also, they took away his ability to force enemies in close combat to reroll their invulnerable saves, so even in assault he's not the rape train he used to be. Still able to gimp almost anything tho.
  • Deathleaper: Inexplicably made into an HQ unit, Deathleaper is per-point the most fragile unit in the codex, partially to compensate for the relative difficulty one can have in killing him. All shooting at him is reduced to a Snap Shot, so non-melee armies will have trouble with him (except Tau with their Markerlights), and it makes him immune to blasts and flamers. Unfortunately, the special rules have very situational usage. One allows the Tyranid player to pick an enemy model and lower its leadership by D3, which is useful for negating bonuses from abilities like Rites of Battle (or psykers and all). Deathleaper tends to get used mostly in a Reserve Army for his Pheromone Trail (precision Deepstriking Mawlocs, heh heh heh...), acting as a buffer in anticipation of the Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord being shot. From there, he might act as a minor assassin unit. Although he's not for many armies, his utility can come into play. One special rule got added to him and the Lictors: Infiltrate. Not sure if this is a good thing or a so-so thing. Time will tell. He has hit and run, character, a lot of attacks and high ws which might be useful for assaulting, challenging murdering at I7 and running. Backed up with some genestealers especially with a broodlord against armies vulnerable against pinning
  • Old One Eye: OOE is one of the most tragic models in the codex, and now even more so since it takes up an HQ slot better used for just about anything else. The model is very expensive at a shade over 200 points. The price tag is equivalent to a Land Raider, but OOE is only as tough and as durable as a normal Carnifex. It has the 4+ Regeneration ability at all times, which is rolled separately from IWND if you can find a way to give it to him. And if you make this guy your warlord he gets Feel No Pain the turn after he gets shot at. Although, if he does survive that he becomes very very hard to kill. His ability to let friendly units within his 12" bubble to use his Ld 8 for Leadership tests could help in a pinch, but don't rely on it, unless you don't bring any Synapse creatures. It can also roll one additional attack for every original attack that hits, but it can't roll new attacks generated from new attacks. He becomes even worse in the new codex, now that crushing claws no longer grant D3 additional attacks, and the berserk rampage discounts hits caused by his nifty new D3 HoW hits; on top of that the +1 strength and ap 2 are redundant thanks to his already being an S 10 monstrous creature. Unfortunately it does not out perform a normal Carnifex with crushing claws by much, and it is out performed by Trygons for less cost. In Apocalypse games he becomes more or less pointless.
    • With the new Tyrannocyte releases it has made many units once again viable, this includes Old One Eye as he can deep strike near the target you want him to destroy. With the changes to crushing claws giving Armour bane and OOE's generating new attacks makes him a very good cc vehicle destroyer now that he doesn't have to slowly walk up the board. Remember he has to survive a turn before he can assault so plan carefully. I have used him a few times using this method and he has performed well e.g. killing out of reach basilisks. The tyrannocyte is proving to be a excellent addition helping the less competitive units have a chance, Does this make Old One Eye the go to HQ? Hell NO he's still the worst HQ, though now he has a niche that he performs quite well at.
  • Thanks to Deathleaper and Old One Eye being HQ choices now, you can field an entire army completely devoid of Synapse Creatures. While strongly not recommended, we suggest you play this list at least once for comedy value in a casual game for the lulz.


The first thing one notices about Tyranid Elites is that you actually have options and possible upgrades for a number of the choices. Tyranids have a lot of Elite options, but many players generally opt for Hive Guard or Zoanthropes as their one stop purchase for reliable ranged anti-vehicle firepower, something not as easily found in the rest of the codex. Mech lists took a hit in that glancing hits on vehicles would have off 1 of maybe 2-3 hull points. As a result Tyranids gained a lot of ability to tear mech lists apart with other units and thus Elites are more free form.

  • Hive Guard: Hive Guard are the premier Tyranid armour hunters. For five points more than a Land Speeder, you're getting model with two wounds, T6, and a 4+ save armed with the bastard offspring of a Krak Missile and a Storm Bolter. Firing two BS 3, Strength 8 shots a turn, a unit of three, or even two, of these guys will bust open transports, light skimmers, or even heavier armor should they be able to flank-it (or just glance often enough). Like everything else in the Tyranid codex, it maintains full fire-efficiency on the move. The only drawback is 24" is a relatively short range for popping light transports. For some unfathomable reason its gun only has AP4, making it useless against single-wound MEQs (which may have been to stop it from being an MEQ killer, remember GW luvs Space Marines). However, the Hive Guard does not need line of sight to hit a target, and it does not give a fuck about any intervening cover. Also the gun's special rule allows it to ignore cover saves from night fighting as well as anything attempting to benefit from the new jink rule and anything that popped smoke the turn before. Even with a slight nerf they are still an auto-take. And now they come in a box where you can make 3 of them from they have become even more attractive.
    • Hive Guards now have a new gun called the shockcannon. Check out the Ranged Weapon section for more details.
  • Lictors: Oh boy, where do we start from here? Lictors are now cheaper, and they still keep their stats and weapons. However, they got a lot of Special Rules to help them and the army out. They don't scatter from Deep Strike, and what's interesting is any units that comes into play via Deep Strike doesn't scatter within 6" of the Lictors. Just think of it, Mawlocs that don't scatter now have a better chance in gobbling up a unit camping on an objective! Fear is meh, but Hit and Run and Stealth is always handy. They can't assault from Deep Strike or Infiltrate, but have some tricks to compensate if you can protect them. Three attack base plus another for having two pairs of CCWs, plus rending and S6 make them mildly effective against standard Troops in low numbers and some HQ's... but for that matter, why aren't you taking deathleaper? Overall Lictors are better than previous editions. They are, incidentally, one of the three Tyranid models with Assault Grenades (in the form of Flesh Hooks). Best used as a very good distraction/homing beacon for Tyrannocyte spam lists, where he can give them a perfect LZ to deploy your suicide units.
    • One Lictor on the charge throws out 5 S6 attacks, for less than half of the cost of a Wave Serpent. While one unit is easy enough to avoid or focus-fire, running multiple solo Lictors (either through running CAD+Leviathan, or using Deathleaper's Assassin Brood) means you spread out a large-scale net, and can force target overload in a single go. With Leadership 10, they can also run independent of your synapse for the most part; that said, don't be afraid to Go-To-Ground with them; remember that a Tyranid unit that went to Ground doesn't have to test for Instinctive Behavior, and Fearless units cannot go-to-ground. Depending on how you plan out your Flyrants' attack vector, you can even plan on several Lictors Going to Ground, only to immediately become Fearless and available to move again once you send your Synapse over.
  • Pyrovores: Back in fifth edition, Pyrovores were almost-universally viewed as the most pointless, fucktarded, and confusingly detrimental unit in the entire Tyranids Codex. How about now? Well, it's gotten better, but then it's would've been hard to go anywhere but up with this model. It received a 5 point price reduction and a buffs to a few stats (an extra Wound here, a little more Initiative there), which is... better? But then it still doesn't seem to serve a purpose in the army, especially given you can still take Hive Guard, and Venomthropes are a lot better now.
    • There's also some RAW wording-loophole shenanigans about its Volatile rule; basically, it says that every unit (on the board) takes S3 AP- hits equal to all non-Pyrovore models within D6 inches of a Pyrovore hit by Instant Death, but most players would be smart enough that you wouldn't get away with it, even if you dropped them in a Tyrannocyte and they didn't shoot it down.
    • Also, the biomorphs it has (Acid Blood and Acid Maw) were pretty much nerfed but not too badly, the latter being reduced to a single AP2 attack instead of all of the critter's attacks ignoring armor. The only good thing is that it seems that it benefits from the Promethium pipeline in Stronghold Assault, so... there's that? Honestly, it's still one of (if not the) worst units in the game. But hey, now you can take packs of them!!! :D. Worst comes to worst, they make acceptable Biovore models.
      • With the addition of the Tyrannocyte these guys aren't as bad anymore. Shove 'em in it, drop em down and burn baby burn at point blank range. Then prepare to die one turn later. But hey you managed to distract the enemy for a whole turn or two between the walking failures and the floating drop pods with Venom Cannons all over.
  • Venomthropes: Venomthropes are a solid choice in 7th edition. All models within 6" of them get Shrouded. They're fantastic support units for protecting against gunlines, and they also confer a save to monstrous creatures in a Nidzilla style army, like the Trygon or Tyrannofex or even a Heirophant. Units with stealth, such as Lictors, can take a 4+ cover save from being near Venomthropes increasing the screening potential of Rippers if they need to advance across open ground. If night fighting is in play, anything near a Venomthrope is nearly unkillable with the cover saves they will receive. Venomthropes also have a 2+ poison and the toxic miasma biomorph (once per game an enemy unit suffers a number of hits equal to the number of models from their unit in base to base with the Venomthrope. The hits have the poison as well and ignores cover USR) but they don't really belong in close combat... but they aren't pushovers any more either. I6 from lash whips and 2+ poison are pretty good. Don't have them charge alone: use them as finishers instead. Since Venomthropes give Shrouded they can be used to boost the cover save provided by units, meaning that a big blob of gaunts can provide a 3+ cover save to a unit of Venomthropes and whatever else you can stick behind the gaunts and in the Shrouded bubble. A possible way of getting footslogging tyrants, warriors and MCs across the board without getting utterly obliterated. Doesn't work when the enemy has Ignores Cover of course. Like all of those flamers out there that absolutely facerape gaunts to begin with. If you're facing a Marines player, and they dump a unit of Legion of the Damned on the board, you might as well kiss this guy goodbye. EVERYTHING the Damned Legionnaires shoot has Ignores Cover. Bolters? Plasma Cannons? Lascannons? Heavy Bolters? Missiles? ALL Ignores Cover. Riparoonie, everything hoping to wander up the board safe and Shrouded.
    • An Alternate Take: Something to consider in addition to Venomthropes in your army is the Aegis Defense Line. If you line one up straight across middle of the board, you can give everything behind it a better cover save of 4+, besides Trygons, and barring the oddly angled shot on an MC. It is also cheaper, can't die, doesn't take up a valuable Elites slot, and can sometimes block LoS completely. It works both ways, but that usually isn't a problem since most of our AP values are too low to hurt MEQs anyway. It's a toss-up between the utility of the Venomthropes' defensive grenades versus the cost and reliability of the ADL's cover save. Pro Tip: Take both! Venomthropes giving shrouded to Exocrines, Tyrannofexes, Hive Guard, and the like for a 2+ save! Crones when they glide or fly on near a Venomthope will get 5+ cover out in the open as well, 3+ if they choose to dive (not a bad idea due to their main damage being their vector strike). The Venomthrope is going to be the lynchpin in a lot of lists.
  • Zoanthropes: Psychic breachers, more or less. With ML 2, guaranteed access to Warp Blast/Lance (as well as gaining extra shots for each Zoanthrope in he unit), and a 3++, they're meant to get in close, blast your foe, then reposition some. Zoanthropes are a pretty "go big or go home" unit though, and like most other Psykers you get diminishing returns on them due to restrictions on Warp Charge. That said, they make a good unit to take advantage of any spare Warp Charge your Flyrants might not actually be able to reliably take advantage of. Strongly consider a Mucoloid Spore to get them on the field; while you could use a Trygon tunnel, those are best used for follow-up objective grabbers.
    • Neurothrope: If you're going to take a unit of 3 Zoanthropes, you might as well pay the extra 5 meltabombs to field this guy. As a character, the Neurothrope gives some minor wound allocation via Look Out Sir, but that's not the real reason to take one. Rather, the Neurothrope's signature ability is granting the unit Spirit Leech. Spirit Leech is basically Psychic Shriek, except better: For each unsaved wound you cause, you gain a free Warp Charge that can only be used for Warp Blast. Ideally you should reach out, flush one small unit from cover (see: Pathfinders or Guardian Jetbikes), finish off with blasting another target, then Running to reposition into a better location.
  • Haruspex: This hentai monster wannabe is a designated infantry-killer, with a rape-tongue of S6 AP2 (Assault 1, Precision Shots on a To Hit of 6, 12" range), A3, and 5 wounds. While unimpressive on paper, each unsaved wound it causes gives it an extra attack in that combat (extra attacks do not generate extra attacks) and it can restore one wound a turn if it successfully lands an unsaved wound on an enemy (only on the turn it charges but if it's in combat you probably charged anyway, just remember it's only for the turn). Combined with Regen, it manages to out-DISTRACTION CARNIFEX the Carnifex. Coincidence? I think not. The tyranids now have a new drop pod in the form of the Tyrannocyte so deep striking is not a problem. But weighing in at $80 a pop for 3A at WS3, then considering missed wounds, you're not doing much better than other options, and some may not really be able to justify the absurd price tag for an altogether mediocre unit. The 'Gulp!' tongue just smacks of uninspired. The GW website promises he'll gobble up units, but that's not really likely. As an alternate strategy you can deep-strike him into enemy lines to act as a suicide monster to mess up infantry formations and threaten characters, and don't forget that he comes stock with crushing claws so don't be afraid to run him at some tank formations. While overall the Haruspex is not the most skilled combat monster his ability to generate additional attacks and regenerate wounds is very useful when you don't have to run him across the board.
    • It's good to remember that with the addition of the Haruspex, Nids now have Monstrous Creatures available in every single force organization slot.
    • They can actually be deadly in close combat if you managed to use Paroxysm on a unit before it charges, thereby potentially hitting on 3's, the Swarmlord can also be helpful to provide preferred enemy, making the Haruspex more reliable. Throw in some toxin sacs in there as well.
    • While crushing claws may you think that you can substitute it for a Carnifex NEVER think this Carnifexs are far better vehicle wreckers even without the claws and have much better long-range options. This beast is better designed to rush infantry squads and kill enough of them to make them run of the board, then when all is done regenerate its wounds and keep on going. The crushing claws are so it is not completely boned when a walker or tank gets to close since it will have to be in enemy lines. Remember what their truly meant for and play to its strengths and you should be fine.
  • Maleceptor: The Toxicrene's utterly retarded twin who's far past overcosted for what he does. It only has a 4+/5++ Invul and ML2 to separate it from any other monstrous creature. The Maleceptor has three powers: you start with its base power "Psychic Overload", gain Dominion for free due to Primaris then roll your remaining powers (i.e one) from the Tyranid table as per normal (this is what the brb states and is confirmed by the August 2016 FAQ) As for Psychic Overload, it's a 24" WC 2 Focused Witchfire that forces units to test Ld on 3d6; those that fail take d3 unsavable wounds/an unsavable glance. It can be used three time per psychic phase on three different units, but you're likely never going to go past one or two, since this thing just sucks up warp charges. Also it's focussed witchfire, so it can be use to auto-snipe a model of your choice if you get 3 success or more, otherwise you need to rely on BS3 to hit half the time... While its range is better than the Neurothrope's and has the ability to actually target vehicles, the cost for it is still far more than it's worth. Really, it could have been saved by better saves or maybe a less strenuous power, but alas, GW decided more oversized, overcosted shit is what Tyranids needed instead of something better against heavy vehicles.
    • Alternate Opinion: Yes, they suck, really and truly. But they have one outstanding quality: Everyone knows they suck. Everyone knows they could only do damage if you were stupid enough to spill all your Warp Charges into it. But, they are still Monstrous Creatures with Synapse. Even better, they are very non-threatening Monstrous Creatures with Synapse, so the enemy might flat-out ignore it for softer targets. They can sit in the middle of your swarm holding the little bugs together, generate Warp Charges for more effective users of them and if push comes to shove, they can still Smash! a Walker or transport. In fact, in close combat, they are actually better than a Tervigon thanks to a faster-than-Necron Initiative and if they roll, for example, Catalyst as their one rollable power, they can even give decent support. Still, they cost too many points, their saves are too bad and their unique Psychic Power should really only cost 1 Warp Charge.
  • Malanthrope Brood (Forgeworld): With the new rules of IA4 2E, the malanthrope went from an Apocalypse to HQ choice, now to Elites and are a sort of halfway between Zoanthropes & Venomthropes. With a price reduction to 85 pts, they can be taken in broods of 1-3. S5 T5 with 4W and 3+, poisoned attacks, toxic miasma, shrouded, fleet, move through cover, synapse, shadow in the warp, and regeneration all included. It also has a unique rule that whenever it kills a unit, all nids in synapse range of the Malanthrope Brood get preferred enemy for the opponent's whole codex (not just the unit type as before). They can also issue challenges even though they are not characters (and therefore do not need to accept challenges issued to them) though in a challenge they can reduce the attacks of their opponents by half and to initiative 1. A solid choice, though it now competes in the Elites slot for space. Use it in a hormagaunt/gargoyle heavy army to kill something quickly and start turning the swarm of generally killing creatures into a unholy wave of destruction.
    • They also do the Venomthrope thing and grant shrouded to nearby units within 6", so these guys can essentially replace Venomthropes in your army in their entirety. They are 40 points more expensive, but you get get double the amount of wounds, regeneration, +1 S/T/A. 3+ armour save as well as all the Synapse goodies. Being able to fill multi-roles in a single slot allows you to do more things with units elsewhere.
    • The best thing about them, however, is the simple fact, that Missile Launchers and Lascannons cannot Instant Kill them, which is more than you can say for Zoanthropes, Venomthropes, Warriors and Raveners.


Troops are where you are going to get your swarm on, everything except warriors, mucolids, and rippers can be fielded in absolutely MASSIVE numbers (and even then they just sacrifice quantity for quality). The upgrades for your troops can really have an impact on how they fight but while the upgrade cost is small the bulk order of them can run you a lot of points, almost doubling the point costs of some choices. Everything works best when you keep them within a synapse from something like a Tyrant or Warriors, with Rippers it is not that bad as the Hunger result is one hit per model so you can take two rounds of self-NOMMAGE before losing any models & combat effectiveness (unlike Gaunts). Tyranid troops are basically the reason other races have weapons with crap AP values, you will lose them in droves, and yet STILL have enough to bury your enemy in bodies.

Oh, and as for the update, this is where a large number of buffs came in: Gaunts are one point cheaper, and they run d6 + 3 in the shooting phase. Make the most of it.

  • Genestealers: Genestealers are very solid units. They have a 5+ save, which is easily punctured by any Space Marine worth a damn, but their combat ability makes up for that. They can easily shred plenty of enemy units (up to and including Baneblades if you can get to their rear armor you always will seeing as they can only do any damage in combat where models always hit the rear armour of non-walker vehicles) in close combat thanks to rending, high initiative, great weapon skill, and an acceptable number of attacks (Thanks to two pairs of claws, they get another attack :D No they do not, you need to buy the Scything Talons to count as two weapons). However, despite all this, they aren't really the core player of the army. They come with infiltration built in, so their best use is often to keep the enemy bottled up. A squad or two of flanking Genestealers will cause most players to give pause to spreading out to the edges of the board. Additionally, you can also upgrade one genestealer to a broodlord, which is essentially a 3 wound, ws7, s/t5 nightmare with The Horror psyker power. Give the Broodlord adrenal glands and it can pop landraiders. All things considered you can't say many bad things about Genestealers. Thankfully, they can be fielded in pretty large numbers, not quite as massive as that of Gaunts, but enough to pretty much swamp anything in front of them. Almost nothing in the game short of AV 14 armor survives more than one turn when faced with a full genestealer brood with a broodlord.
    • Definitely give the broodlord +1A for 4 points. Because you need 6 S5 I7 WS7 Rending attacks on the charge.
    • Another update! Rending claws are S user AP5 rending. It's only a slight change but helps when putting genestealers against weaker enemies (guardsmen, eldar, etc.)
    • Genestealers will kill anything they touch (except for daemons or anything with an invuln which mocks their rending). They are, after all, probably the greatest assault unit in the game (unless they're assaulting into cover as they don't get flesh hooks anymore and will get a hiding before they strike from anything capable thanks to their naff 5+ save). Any opponent that knows this will stay FAR away from them. This makes genestealers a major psychological tool in addition to what some would say is the greatest unit in the codex.
    • tl;dr - Take Genestealers+Broodlord vs armies that don't have a lot of units immune to Pinning. Infiltrate them as close as possible to the enemy's gunlines and The Horror them repeatedly. You won't be able to assault them the turn you Infiltrate, but you can assault the next turn. If they're immune to Pinning, well, you should have other uses for that Warp Charge.
    • Children of Cryptus (Deathstorm): 8 Stealers with ScyTals and a Broodlord (Sadly the Spawn of Cryptus has no IC and no ScyTals). For 11 points more, the Spawn becomes a Warlord (Which grants him Preferred Enemy) and gives the entire squad Stealth. Overall a nice package, as it allows them better use for cover.
    • If you really want to spam genestealers, run an allied detachment of Genestealer Cults. GC Genestealers cost the exact same but have +1 attack, stealth and a 5+ invuln. Take a patriarch (uber-broodlord) as the allied HQ and gain autopassing look out sir combat monster with S6 ap3 attacks a uprgradeable to ML2 to get even more fun (like spam summoning). Even better run the First Curse formation to get the above and a powerful buff table on top of that, where you could even get assault grenades!
  • Hormagaunts: Hormagaunts, due to being cheap and having cheap access to poison, are among the most devastating and effective attackers in the the entire game. Per point spent, they deal more damage, survive more wounds, and can even run across the board faster than anything else that can compete with them. Their only major drawback is a stark lack of frag grenades. However, keep them from fighting with inopportune targets and get them Feel No Pain from any psyker with Catalyst, and these little bugs will really tear it up on the battlefield. They can also equip adrenal glands to glance tanks and transports to death on the charge. Plus, you can field them in absolutely massive broods, rivalling full sized guard platoons in sheer size. You now only +2 attacks on the charge on a roll of 6 outside of synapse, otherwise enjoy your [number of models] S3 hits 50% of the time! (yes, they hit themselves). However, seeing as they are fast, good in melee, and cheap ObSec, they are very good at grabbing objectives, and holding them because of their outrageous numbers and melee punch compared to enemy equivalents (remember that grounded nids don't take Instinctive Behavior!).
  • Exerpt from Spoletta on DakkaDakka Tactics:

Hormagaunts are usually seen as an alternative to the deep striking rippers as mandatory troops. Depending on your list composition of heavy hitters you may want those guys in. Alternatively, you can go out all out on Hgaunts and TGants and play an horde style list. Here is a list of things you want to consider when talking about Hgaunts:

  • Hormagaunts may look like a cheap troop, but they actually are not. Remember that nids have Tgants, rippers and Mucolids for a cheaper troop choice. Take these guys only if you have a real reason, if not then there are better mandatory troops.
  • Hormagaunts are fast. Not as fast as beasts or jump infantry, but for their cost they are indeed fast between fleet and leap. They will get into assault range by turn 2 many times.
  • Do not expect vanilla hormagaunts to provide damage, that is not their role. They will make a mess out of certain units, but that will not happen commonly.

That said, why would you take Hgaunts, what is their intended role? Well at this point it is necessary to distinguish between vanilla hormagaunts and upgraded hormagaunts. Vanillla hormagaunts are the most commonly used and are great for screening, tarpitting, objective grabbing and assault linking.

  1. Screening: Since the rule clarification that you don't need to be 25% covered by a model to get the cover save but a toe in a ripper will suffice, these guys became an interesting alternative to the more commonly used screeners. While they cost 25% more than Tgants, they will never risk to slow down your dakkafex/exocrine/whatever. At the same time they cost 16% less than gargoyles (and are obj sec). Remember to bring a shroud source with you when doing this, or the hormagaunts will be an even better target than a dakkafex for the bolters on a point per average wound basis.
  2. Tarpitting: When tarpitting with nids it is either gargoiles or hormagaunts. Luckily both of them are really good at this. Gargoiles are better due to the jump infantry type and the blinding venom even if they cost more. If you want pure tarpitting go for them. Take hormagaunts if you also need them for their other roles.
  3. Objective grabbing: Here the best are the deepstriking rippers. Cheaper, easier to hide and deepstriking. Hormagaunts are close second though, with the highest speed between our obj sec troops and an high model count for conga lining.
  4. Assault linking: This is where Hgaunts are the best. Assault a model with a slaughter unit (Dimacherion, Carnifex, Toxicrene etc..) and at the same time multi assault that model and another unit with a unit of hormagaunts. You will get 2 benefits: first, your hormagaunts will eat up the overwatch, and secondly when that initially assaulted model gets slaughtered, you force a harsh leadership check on the second unit while in melee with a high initiative unit. Remember that glancing and penetrating hits count for resolution and tanks are indeed the best initial targets for this maneuver. Hgaunts have fleet and high initiative for a low cost, which makes them better at this than Tgants and Gargoyles.

As you can see, they are not the best at anything, but they are a good second choice for all of those roles, with point 4 an uncommon exception (which can win games, keep an eye out for it). So if you need just mandatory troops or strongly need one role in particular, skip Hgaunts. If you need an all round troop choice that can be spent in any of those roles then consider Hgaunts.

Upgraded Hormagaunts are almost never seen and there is a reason. They cost! For a 1W T3 6+ model they can get to ridiculous costs. That said:

  • If you need anti rear AV 10 and can't honestly get anything better then AG Hgaunts can be an option. They are fairly good at it, but will bleed points like mad when targeted.
  • If you expect to face high T targets like WKnights or Nurgle babies then consider Venom Hgaunts. If you can get them on their favorite target then they can get to tear jerking efficiency, if not they will again be point bleeders at the smallest sign of enemy fire.
  • Do not consider AG + Venom Gaunts. Never.
Grades: C (Vanilla Hormagaunts), D (Single upgrade Hgaunts), E (Double Upgrade Hormagaunts)
  • Rippers: Tyranids have numerous traditional weaknesses, one being blast templates. Rippers, being swarms, take double damage from blast templates. Having a toughness of three, they are morbidly weak to Instant Death as well. Their weapon skill is low, their saves are 6+ and they die less than 5E if they fall out of synapse and roll 1-3 on Instinctive Behavior (which they will). To say they at least aren't an actively inhibiting part of any army would be a stretch. At least they can now claim (and secure in combined arms FOCS) objectives, so they can at least be given purpose on the battlefield by hiding away in cover based objectives. You just have to hope your enemy didn't bring flamers.
    • However, Rippers can now purchase deep strike for pennies. Of course, this hardly redeems them, but if you really want to have some, it does make them usuable as a halfway decent distraction unit than can simply go to ground every turn for immunity to Instinctive Behavior and +1 to cover. 6ed Swarms are not slowed by difficult terrain but must test for dangerous terrain as normal so keep that in mind.
      • These lil' gribblies are the Spanish Inquisition of the Troops slot. Bump them up by one base, give them Burrowing and Spinefists, then watch your opponent scowl in disbelief as four Ripper bases deep strike into his backline and pepper a heavy weapons unit with 16 twin-linked shots. They should kill 1 MEq or 3 GEq with this LOL-salvo and even if they don't, their target now faces a very real threat of another 16 shots in the following turn followed by being tied up in assault for the rest of the game unless dealt with. What's more important; lil' gribs in the wire or bigger gribs elsewhere? As they have the Swarms USR, Rippers are surprisingly resilient in assault in 7th providing that they can get there. Now that wounds from each initiative step are allocated by the player owning the target models, once all Rippers are in base contact with the enemy unit the owner can 5th-style spread the wounds around each base without initially losing any models. The advantage of this, unless doubled-out and Instant Deathed, is that a unit of Rippers can hang in combat better than Gaunts as they initially take damage without having models removed, thus retaining 100% of their damage output for longer. Just be wary of sending any heavily wounded surviving bases into danger (or even out of synapse) as they're very unlikely to use this trick twice and will best be used as pew-pew objective-holders once savaged.
  • Termagants: Termagants are pretty much nothing (base) compared to hormagaunts and genestealers. Their guns are short to mid range, their ballistic skill is average, they fight as well as Guardsmen in close combat and their saves are worse. In fact, they cost one less point than Guardsman. However, for every brood of 30 Termagants you have, one Tervigon can be purchased as a troop choice (there are few units of comparable cost that can remove a Tervigon from an objective in cover and most of those do not have Objective Secured), and Termagants receive counter-attack from being next to a Tervigon. Therefore, despite their mediocre-at-best statline, they are arguably the most competitive Troops choice on the tabletops of seventh edition when paired with the Tervigon. Like Hormagaunts, they can be fielded in numbers so large the gameboard will look like an unending sea of bugs. Give them devourers though, pay a pretty penny for a hive tyrant with Hive Commander, and have them Outflank on a side of the board and they can certainly dish out a lot of dakka! If you want Preferred Enemy, either bring the Swarmlord or some Malanthropes to grant them that special rule. THIS combo is slaughter incarnate to infantry.
    • Something to keep in mind is that Termagants can now Mix and Match weapons. Due to the wonky wording, any model can replace their weapon with a different one, rather than a unit. Want some good dakka but don't want to pay through the nose for having 30 Devourers? Just take at least half and let the other half keep their Flesh Borers! This means you can also experiment with Spinefists and Spike Rifles now that they're free.
  • Warriors: Warriors are also a solid unit, but they have one problem: Instant Death. They have a 4+ save, three wounds, and a toughness of four, so against small arms fire they're as tough as Terminators. However, hit their squad with a Battle Cannon and they all evaporate, and autocannons will rip them into very small pieces. They have access to weapons that ignore armor saves, have decent guns, have good weapon skill, and overall have some pretty reasonable options. It's just not a good idea to make an entire army composed of Warriors since small numbers and being no-brainer targets will hurt them. Cover can be their friend and with Primes leading them, at least Str8 won't be such a problem. The question is, though, do you wanna risk your Prime?
    • And we should probably mention that Boneswords are AP3 now. Don't bother pairing them together, take one with a Lash Whip and give them Rending Claws so they won't be limited to MEQs.
    • If you do use Warriors, take a unit of three, equip one with a Cannon of your choice, include a pair of Rending Claws on two other Warriors, and have them sit on an objective at your deployment zone. They make a decent unit that can shoot Blast weapons while still be able to hold on their own if someone tries to assault them.
  • Exerpt from Unyielding Hunger on DakkaDakka Tactics:

The Tyranid Warrior is the heart of the swarm and is used in many of the formations.

1. Super versatility allows it to take on a wide variety of jobs with little problem.

2. Has access to assault grenades

3. Synapse support for the army.

The Tyranid Warrior has lived a long and checkered past, having often been switched to worthwhile to worthless as meta constantly shifts around it. The Tyranid Warrior acts in much the same way as a cheaper, more easily disposable terminator. The crux of the problem comes from the toughness value of the warrior. At T4, a warrior is the equal of most marines, but costs just under 3 times the cost. Against S8 and greater, a warrior has very little in the way of defense. However, by keeping to small units it is much easier to mitigate losses to large strength weapons while also maximizing firepower. The standard option clocks in at 90 points and serves little purpose just moving up, unless working within other formations which allow Tyranid Warriors to augment and boost those around them. The recommended option is a small group of 3 with a bio cannon at 100 points. Depending on your strategy, a group of 3 entrenched in cover with a barbed strangler will have good chances of survival and can keep enemy flamers and heavy weapons pinned down as the rest of the swarm rapidly moves into their respective gun ranges. The other option that works well for hunting vehicles or multi-wound xenos or human characters is the Venom cannon. It is fully capable of working on AV12, though anything stronger will give you problems.

Mobility can be a bit of a problem for warriors, though there are ways to get around that. Each squad can have quite the presence on the board which is reinforced by their large size. Always make sure to keep them in cover or melee to avoid casualties. The maximum size is 9, but rarely should a person field more than 4-5 in a single squad, in order to ensure that the footprint remains small and they do not attract too much attention, as anyone who stares at them too long is going to start feeling itchy with their big guns. Once you get in close, you want to avoid standing around for multiple turns in the open shooting. Use your devourers and jump right into the mix, and even stock Tyranid Warriors should be able to hold their own for several turns. If you are going after a more melee concentrated brood, then consider keeping them rather small, and in transport. The only real transport options for the Tyranid Warrior are Trygon tunnels or a pod. Taking the pod will be your best bet in almost every circumstance. Give one warrior a LW/BS combination and consider him a sergeant. From there, you can go in several directions. You can give the remaining 2-5 rending claws and go full melee, or keep devourers on them to allow them to soften up before the assault, which in most circumstances will be your best bet. You do not need to give every warrior in a CC oriented brood every shiny option when it comes down to it. If you have the points for a Prime, see if you can't keep them all together.

In a pod, you can keep 5 warriors and a Prime. That is a bit point heavy however, so try and shave it where you can elsewhere. Your Prime should be doing most of the work, but take advantage of stat line boosts where applicable. Upgrade 2 more with rending claws and scything talons and keep the rest stock, and you have a much more durable attack platform. Use some wound shenanigans to keep them all rotating out to take damage, and you can also use the Tyranid Prime to tank S8-9 shots. Ideally, you want the brunt of all your melee damage to be taken on your stock warriors to free up the rending claw warriors to survive longer to roll those 6s.

Grades: B (Gunboat Warriors), B (Pod Warriors), D (CC Walk Warriors), D (Vanilla)

    • Phodian Hive Warriors (Deathstorm): Three Warriors with Toxin and Adrenals, with Venom Cannon, Boneswords, and LashSword each. 11 more points grants them not only the ability to charge through ruins at Initiative (Which is boss), but it also makes anything non-Nid in ruins within 12" take Dangerous Terrain, making them good with Area Denial. In forest or desert boards, they're probably no different than basic Warriors.
  • Mucolid Spore Pods: Released alongside the Tyrannocyte and Sporocyst, these are basically T3 3W anti-MEQ spore mines with Shrouded, all at the cost of about a ripper base each. They move like mines and blow up in S8 AP3 (which goes up in S if you pile more in, since 1-3 of them can be put in a troop slot). The other big boon is that they can charge Zooming Flyers/Swooping MCs and, if they hit, score on Side Armor. All said, these are seriously cheap flyer-denial units to bring if you want to give up a few Rippers. Just keep them from attacking anything but the flyers or big units, as they're still spore mines.
    • There are three main ways that Mucolids could be used from an army building perspective.
      • One, as a flier denial unit. Simply by spending 90 points you get 2 squads of 3 that, when contained in the main body of your swarm, are extraordinarily hard to kill, what with 3 wounds and a 3+ cover, T3 be damned. This leads to their continued presence and makes them work as a discouraging unit - they basically project a no-fly-zone where the enemy simply wont put his drop pods or aircraft for risk of the contents of the pod or the flier itself spontaneously combusting.
      • The second way is as a bare minimum troops fulfillment. With these things, in 30 points, mandatory troops are done and dusted, leading to more free points to spend on big things. This lowers the minimum cost of mandatory troops in the Tyranid book from 78 points (two squads of minimum sized rippers) to 30. And unlike two squads of 10 fleshborer termagants, a lone mucolid actually still represents a threat no matter where it ends up.
      • The third method is to use them as deep strikers. 90 points worth of these things deepstriking in front of/beside/behind cover next to the enemy army is something that they cannot ignore without horrible things happening to them next turn. This can disrupt gunlines, draw out enemy key units, draw fire and generally make a right nuisance for 90 points. They could also be used as the anti tank support to a Tyrannocyte drop pod list's anti infantry. Three Tyrannocytes, one with a T-fex and two with 20 devilgaunts, the T-fex pod with venom cannons and the other two with barbed stranglers is a huge hitting force. Throw in 2 squads of 3 or 3 squads of 2 Mucolids and this Drop Pod assault becomes lethal on all levels. Add a precision deepstriking Lictor for precision deepstriking pods and mines behind cover.

Fast Attack[edit]

Remember how vehicles used to be a problem for Tyranids, mostly due to their inability to actually get close enough to vehicles to use their high-strength weapons? Fast Attack Tyranids shine in an anti-vehicle role, and the few who don't are pretty good infantry killers (as if you didn't already have enough ways to deal with infantry, but the option is there). Able to get close enough with relatively long range weaponry and unload huge amounts of high strength organic dakka that will really fuck up mechanized assaults. Enemy fliers giving you trouble, too? There's a tyranid for that now that will make even the super OP Necron flyer will shit its metal pants at the thought of facing. Though fragile (what Fast Attack unit isn't?), they do follow the Tyranid combat doctrine of "if we can't field a lot of them, we'll give them options".

  • Gargoyles: Gaunts with wings, effectively. They are, in quite nearly every way, just Termagants with wings. They have the same stats and the same weapons. However, aside from the 12" movement there are two differences: they can exchange all of their attacks and instead make a single poisoned attack with the Blind special rule. Another thing is that Gargoyles are Jump Infantry and essentially receive a free bonus hit at I10 on the charge if they use their "jump pack" for the charge instead of for their movement. This does allow you to re-roll your charge range, though. Throw in poison and Gargoyles become some savage monstrous creature hunters (great for fucking over other Tyranid armies and Chaos Daemons). Taking HoW into consideration, Gargoyles are incredibly cost efficient models. If you give them both upgrades, you're paying 10 points for: 12 + 2d6 charge, 1 S3 I4 hit, 2 S4 I4 Poisoned attacks, and a S4 AP5 assault weapon shot. Point for point, superior to even Storm Boyz. Sadly, they aren't too fantastic against much besides infantry; if they can't kill or cripple what they charged in the first round there's not much hope for the unit coming out alive... So while it doesn't hurt to have them around, they also don't always help. Like all Jump Infantry, they do have Deep Strike, the trick is getting them into Synapse before they start lapsing into Instinctive Behavior: Hunt and uselessly shooting Fleshborers instead of assaulting like they should.
  • Harpies: The first of the two Fast Attack Flying Monstrous Creatures for Tyranids, the Harpy does a "little bit of everything." It has a Vector Strike, the ability to drop a cluster of Spore Mines over an enemy it has flown over once per turn, and a twin-linked gun, either S6 large blast, or S9 small blast. However, you can only do two of those per turn, as both the Spore Mines and Vector Strike count as firing a weapon for that turn. Because of this, it is generally not recommended to buy either the Cluster Spines or Stinger Salvo. All this leads to a very harassy flier with enough pie for everyone. Keep them in the back during deployment though, as they start in Gliding mode and thus can be instagibbed by Str10 Large Blasts, which are mostly short-ranged. Make it a point to stay out of range or LOS of a Quadgun until they can at least Jink. Their extreme mobility and range will get them where they need to be no problem once they're in the air.
    • Should you wish to glide with the Harpy, its Sonic Screech lets it lower the Initiative of enemy units it charges by 5. With its low WS and attacks however, you do not want the Harpy to take on most units by itself, but the debuffs can benefit your lower Initiative units, such that you could have a Carnifex strike before Eldar. One particularly amusing option however is to give the Harpy Acid Blood, such that wounding it works more to your advantage than the other way around.
    • It's also worth remembering that as MCs aren't vehicles they have a 360 degree fire-arc so plopping a Strangethorn pie onto the same unit you just passed over and pooped mines onto is, unlike a flier, entirely doable.

  • Hive Crone: Where the Harpy is more "general-purpose," the Hive Crone is supposed to fill a dedicated air superiority roll. It has a Strength 8 Vector Strike, and four S5 Haywire missiles that rerolls to hit against fliers. However, using the Vector Strike means only firing one missile, and Haywire weapons work best when they can rapidly strip HP, which the Tentaclid cannot. They're fragile, and more expensive than the Harpy. Though not a terrible unit on its own, the Hive Crone is generally inferior to finding the extra points for another Flyrant, though it does find its place in several Formations.
    • The Harpy and the Crone are made with the same kit. The kit is $80 ($115 'Strayahbucks). One of the few units (the Harpy) that wasn't nerfed in the Tyranid's codex is also one of the most expensive Nid kits to buy; One of GW's many strategies to squeeze extra cash from their customers.
      • Again, remember that the Tentaclids and Snotty Goodness aren't bound to a 45 degree forward firing arc. Gutted, Heldrakes!
  • Raveners: Raveners are very similar to Warriors, but they're faster, have higher initiative, have more attacks, and are more fragile. Ultimately they're ok. They aren't as good at fighting as a swarm of Hormagaunts, aren't as tough as Warriors, and get expensive when equipped with ranged weapons, but their Fleet move, 12" movement, and complete immunity to non-mysterious terrain give them a niche to fill. Ideally, they're harassers, designed to make unexpected long range assaults into exposed heavy weapons teams or infantry who think they're safely controlling an objective. The main thing to worry about with them is Instant Death and getting caught in the open. Their 5+ saves mean they won't get armor against the most typical foes, and if you can't clean up that Space Marine with a hidden Power Fist in one round then you'll have some very dead Raveners on your hands - see link for Tyranid warrior health issues.
    • Alternate Opinion: Raveners are basically Shrikes without Synapse and fewer options, for the same cost. They only have two things going for them: 1) They can buy guns in addition to their two pairs of Scything Talons/Rending Claws, though that costs and 2) They are Beasts, so their low Armour Save should not matter, since, if your Beasts ever don't have a Cover Save, YOU fucked up. For all problems concerning Power Fists and Leadership, you should very much check out the next point:
    • The Red Terror: For 85-points you may add the Red Terror to one of your Ravener broods (one use per army), which has better stats, access to prehensile pincers, and the Swallow Whole ability (hitting a unit with 4 attacks automatically removes a model, and ignores armor and cover saves). If you're going to use them, you may as well splurge on it. Something that is often overlooked is that the Red Terror also provides a Leadership of 8 instead of the Raveners' usual 6, which gives them greater autonomy from your Synapse Creatures. The most important aspect about The Red Terror though is that it is a Character and can thus allocate wounds to your Raveners. This is therefore going to make a Ravener brood much more resilient. He ignores instant death from missile launchers (T5), has a 4+ save that can reduce the typical damage from AP5 weaponry, and can (statistically with 6 attacks on the charge) swallow whole a hidden powerfist.
  • Shrikes: Winged warriors which cost just as much as the normal warriors but have a weaker armor save, made up for with a much greater mobility. Equip them with any combination of your favorite melee weapons and get these guys into an assault ASAP, get kills, and then onto the next squad before you can shake a ripper at them. They still suffer from anything that can instant death them and although they can now take the Prime, there isn't much point as the Prime can't fly. If you can manage hopping them from cover to cover running, they won't disappoint you. Overall, a strong contender for a Fast Attack slot on your army. Now the same cost as regular warriors and/or raveners.
  • Sky-Slashers: Rippers with cute little wings. Not much better then the grounded version, but now with the added weakness of taking dangerous terrain checks if they use their jump move while in terrain! They can, however, use their jump move to assault, which gives them a free I10 hit, in addition to their other attacks for a metric fuck ton of paper cuts on the charge. If they take Adrenal glands, they can glance AV10 rear armor vehicles to death on the charge, with a 12+2d6" threat range. Otherwise, see Rippers, described above.
  • Spore Mines: With the new codex, these guys move 3" in the movement phase, can run and assault normally (But halves their roll), and will explode in close combat at initiative step 10, with a large blast S4, AP 4, however, you only get to place one large blast. For each additional Spore mine beyond the exploding one, add +1S to the blast (to a maximum of S9, since you're only allowed 6 mines in a cluster.) and remove them all afterwards. This means that they can be a good distraction for relatively little cost, able to really scare tanks and light infantry with high strength blasts. They also don't count as kill points, so if you have the spare points, these are a great point sink. Even if you don't field them alone, buy some as you're going to need them for the Sporocyst's defenses and Biovore's missed shots.
  • Mieotic Spore Mines (Forge World):Spore Mines in Spore Mines, they move 3+D6" in the movement phase, and half their run distances, but unlike the smaller mines they may not charge at all. When they go boom, they resolve it like a large blast shooting attack with a 6" range but with no BS to speak of you could end up horribly overshooting your target and end up with nothing. Also, the number of mines does not increase the strength of the blast which is S5 as standard, though you can have one marker per spore mine. Finally, as a consolation, if one of your markers misses (or you lose a meiotic spore to enemy gunfire), you can replace the model with a brood of baby spore mines. For 15 points a model, its not a bad alternative to a regular spore mine brood, since you get more chances if you miss. Since they cost exactly the same as the average three spore mines they produce when destroyed you might as well take these in place of regular spore mines in your list if you have the money to buy both.
    • With the new release of Mucolid Spores, the Meiotic spores will struggle to find their place, the models can be used as either since there is very physical little differences between them other than a few tentacles.
    • Comparing the two: They have the same points cost per model and both get the Shrouded USR. However Mucolid Spores don't compete in the Fast Attack slot and have the advantage of being able to assault zooming flyers (something that Meiotic spores were supposed to be able to do according to their fluff) and Mucolids have a higher bomb strength that can be increased per bomb. What the Meiotic spores have going for them is that they cause an ignores-cover explosion for each bomb in the cluster and get to leave behind normal spore mines if they fail to hit anything. Take Meiotic spores if you're facing big hordes of GEQ infantry (or Orks or other nids) as they do much better at that job.
  • Dimachaeron (Forge World): A brand-new unit in fast attack that looks like a horrid mix between a Carnifex, a Tyrant, and a Lictor, it acts like a pseudo Jump MC (Leaping in movement gives it a 6" range, leaping in assault gives it HoW with S+1 and Strikedown). It has a pair of S+1 AP2 Talons that, when it rolls 6 to-hit, gives an attack on an unwieldy S+4 AP1 ID claw that can kill anything smaller than Extremely Bulky. Then, for each wound the model has (on its profile, not only the ones remaining. So if you remove the last wound from a Marine Captain, you get 3 tokens, not one), it gains a token that gives it a 4+ FNP for the turn before burning it off. And just to add on to the horde-rape, it has an AP2 pair of claws with 4+ ID. However, it has some unbalanced stats with WS8 BS3, but S/T/W/I 6 and 5 Attacks (6 due to 2 pairs of weapons) and a 3+, but it's reliant on Synapse with IB Feed (At least it has some alleviation if it killed some goons before to feed it FNP), Rampage, and Adrenal Glands.
    • Some points to clarify from someone who has used the model; the new Leaper type has limited application for a standard move given that the Dimachaeron's base is 3.5" deep, meaning that the model can only physically clear terrain 2.5" deep. It's great for impassible walls, rivers or leaping up onto terrain but fairly crap at clearing area terrain like forests unless clearing an edge. The leap is great for ignoring the initiative penalty from charging through intervening terrain but if the target is *in* terrain you'll still hit last because, despite having a BS value FW didn't bother giving this big fellow a Spine Bank option, FFS. Incorrect dependent on the following; If you use the "leap" ability to get into combat you gain +1 S and Strikedown to your hammer of wrath attack. This attack lands at initiative step 10, and whether or not it wounds the opposing model fights then as if in difficult terrain, at initiative 1 due to Strikedown. Further to this the rest of the unit pile in as if in difficult terrain as per initiative step pile in rules. Although the unit is not slowed by the difficult terrain it is still effected by the reduction of it's initiative. No dangerous terrain tests on jumping or landing though thanks to it being an MC. A successful Spine-maw attack resulting in FNP(4+) mentioned above gives the Dimachaeron a plasm (yes, plasm, not plasma) token for every wound on the target model's statline, not for every wound remaining which fits perfectly with the unit's job as a HQ & Elite unit hunter. The FNP kicks in immediately and each plasm counter lasts for a game turn, not player turn. Nomming some poor bastard with 3W on turn 3 will give the Dimachaeron a 50% chance to ignore most hits way up to the end of turn 6, effectively the rest of the game, so no, it doesn't need to kill "a lot of people", just a few unlucky good ones. With 5 attacks base +1A for two pairs of CCWs, D3 attacks from the Rampage USR & +1S & +1A for charging this m0f0 brings 8-10 S8 I6 attacks on the charge for the NOMs making it great for hitting infantry caught out in the open and even most characters will be hitting after this guy. Land Raiders are getting can-openererered on 6s and AV10 rear transports should be mortally afraid. For non-vehicle NOM-proof models larger than Very Bulky infantry the Sickle Claws will ID them on the roll of a 4+ to wound, perfect for other MCs, even at S7. If you can catch one, a Wraithknight should be dropped in a single round of combat, same for a Riptide, cheerio! With proper support a Dimachaeron is an absolute beast, just make sure it has it's breakfast and stays away from Instant Death weapons.
    • To summarize, the Dimachaeron is a beast in close combat, but it cannot do anything outside of close combat and despite being Fast Attack, it is not particularly fast, except for the Adrenal Glands, which any other Tyranid MC can buy as well.
  • Cool Combat trick* Try smashing on the first round of combat to reduce your attacks to 1, ensuring you are locked in during your opponent's shooting phase! Just As Planned. Don't try this with heavy hitters but it works against basic marines or weaker!

Heavy Support[edit]

This organization chart is easily the best in the codex. Pretty much everything is either decent (Mawlocs and Trygons) or solid overall (Exocrine and Biovores), so feel free to drop a lot of spare points here as this slot is the most competitive out of the others. That being said, you have a bunch of choices that wants to be in your army, so this really depends on what you brought from the other charts. Running broods of Termagants with a Tervigon? Carnifexes help bridge the gap of close combat. Using a bunch of Hormagaunts and Gargoyles? A Trygon Prime gives them the Synapse support, while Biovores and a Tyrannofex lay down the anti-infantry shots. Tyranid's Heavy Support is an all around versatile chart, so no matter what list you play, you should always consider investing here.

  • Biovores: A unit to be respected by any footslogger with an armor save of 4+ or worse, Biovores are "mobile" artillery beasts that deliver spore mines directly to the enemy. The mines, when they hit, each create a S4, AP 4, large blast, and when they don't hit D3 Spore Mines will actually land on the field and remain present until they are shot or wandered into. It's not exactly what one would think of as "heavy" support, but it is probably among the best ranged anti-infantry support in the codex. Plus with the slight buff (Mostly unnecessary, except the extra wound) and point decrease, Biovores just went from being a good choice, to a solid choice. The buff to Spore Mines sweetens the deal, and they don't count as kill points if they don't hit and get shot at the next turn. The only problem is, one has to ask if more anti-infantry is really what one seeks when such is the strength of almost every other unit in the codex. In Apocalypse games, where long ranged ability becomes crucial due to the much larger average board size, they become far more viable as a way to deal with infantry blobs from a distance, they can be fielded in much larger numbers to swamp the battlefield in pieplates and spore mines.
  • Carnifex: Carnifexes start off at 120 points but can get very expensive once you start buying upgrades for them. They have three attacks base at Str9 and start with 2 pairs of CC weapons (two pairs of talons), but their WS is pretty average. They can hold their own against basic squads by themselves, but one hidden power fist will ruin their day in a heartbeat (or lack thereof). Even against a five man Space Marine Tac Squad, a lone Carnifex lacks the attacks and accuracy to clean up its enemies before it gets walloped, and a Krak missile or two to soften the beast up will guarantee its death. However, there is one important thing to consider: nothing dismantles tanks in close combat as well as a Carnifex. There are other options the new vehicle cracking power of many of the other Tyranid units but the Carnifex still holds the prize. Also hilariously the second unit in the codex with access to frag grenade equivalents. Toxin Sacs on the Carnifex gives you a rerolls to Wound for pennies. With 2 Twin-Linked Devourers, they become surprisingly powerful at destroying flyers (rerolling to hit), MEQs and TEQs (forcing saves), GEQ ICs (instant death), and even light to medium vehicles (volume of fire) at range. For only 150 points, with the option to be taken in larger broods, this setup rarely disappoints. Speaking of large broods, Carnifex large broods are a major point sink but are massively powerful, especially when they take the 4+ regeneration. All in all, Carnifexes have certainly seen some buffs in 6th edition, with the new Monstrous Creature cover rules, the changes to vehicles, and Hammer of Wrath and its points drop. Still sucks statwise when compared to a Daemon Prince. But they cost 120 points, so they're getting a fair trade off. Carnifex specific Hammer of Wrath gets d3 hits instead of just one; at strength 9, this is HUGE. Base Screamer-Killers (dual scything talons) will be able to lay out loads of pain. Crushing Claws are now really good for them for only 15 points and the 4+ regeneration is AMAZING. To sum up, a really good vehicle dismantler while being decently hard to kill, the options of being in large broods and other options for fire support.
    • Now that Smash was changed in 7th edition, the Carnifex is now the king of smashing vehicles when equipped with Crushing Claws. Two of them in a brood with just the claws will cost you 270 pts. Be sure to give them Regeneration or some gaunts, because once players find out they're still dangerous, they will shoot everything at them.
    • Dakkafexes: These guys deserve an extra mention almost as a unit in their own right. Carnifexes get access to the Twin Linked Devourers With Brain Leech Worms (TLDWBLW) gun. Two of them together gives 12 shots, at 18" range, S6, Twin linked. All on a Carnifex platform and for 150 pts. That is terrifying. Shooting at marines, a Dakkafex will manage 9 hits and 8 wounds (statistically). That's 2.6666 dead marines. A tactical squad with meltagun and lascannon kills 2.54 marines a turn. And that is assuming the lascannon didn't move and that there is no cover at all. The Dakkafex manages this while being cheaper (150 vs 165pts) and considerably more durable. You need an average of 60 bolter hits to kill a marine squad outright. You need an average of 72 bolter hits to kill a Carnifex outright. Heavy weapons might be better but with so much available cover in 7th (Venomthropes, gaunt walls, shrubs) they aren't too reliable. Also, a Carnifex wrecks shit in close combat like no tactical squad ever did. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a Dakkafex doesn't lose any of this firepower until it dies completely. The aforementioned tactical squad loses effectiveness as it loses marines. Taken in squads, this makes the Dakkafex absolutely terrifying, arguably the second best choice in the Tyranid Codex behind the Flyrant. They can mulch any unit possible, either through weight of shots (All types of infantry and light to medium vehicles) or through powerful close combat (MEQ's, TEQ's and all vehicles). Through weight of TL S6 shots they can even scare fliers. These guys are the shit.
    • Stone Crusher Carnifex (Forge World): your basic fex with -1A, +1S, no talons, a Carapace that reduces all shots by -1S which is quite impressive. For weapon options it starts with AP1 claws that have Wrecker and re-rolls on all pen, but these can be changed for an ID flail that will will attack as many times as there are models in base contact meaning that they can kill every single model in base contact with themselves. One of the best things about the unit though is that they take Hammer of Wrath attacks at S10 AP2 with Armourbane against buildings and vehicles, or Monster Hunter against other Monstrous Creatures, but also that you consider that Carnifexes make D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks as standard, the Stone Crushers can be real powerful battering rams. It's basically the ideal DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. It's absurdly cheap in point cost (but not in real money - this is Forge World after all). Basically an ideal tool for a Tyrannocyte to come in, and then wreck everything if they don't focus on the floating drop pod with five autonomous guns.
  • Exerpt from Frozocone on DakkaDakka Tactics:
  • Background
    • When one thinks of a Tyranid army, one of the first models to come to mind is the Carnifex. One of the most iconic Tyranid models to be in existance, especially in 4th edition where Carnifexes could also be taken in Elites. As fifth edition came out, they became redundant with the arrival of the new Trygon and lack of option to be taken as an Elite and slowly started to gather dust. Following the arrival of 6th edition, Carnifexes were hailed as one of the shining stars of the Codex, getting a notable points decrease as well as being able to take multiples in a brood, opening up Heavy Support options. As 7th edition rolled out they came to be the only Monstrous Creature in the Tyranid Codex that wasn't nerfed by the changes to Smash, making use of it's standard base 9 Strength to deal with anything that comes across its path.
  • Competitive Setting
    • A Carnifex Brood uses one of the Heavy Support slots in a Tyranid army. It follows a standard TMC statline, with WS3, BS3, T6 with a 3+ Armour Save. As it does not have the Synapse Creature special rule, it will revert to Instinctive Behaviour outside of Synapse, of which the Carnifex rolls on the Feed table. Where the Carnifex starts to differ is that it only has 4 Wounds, making it not as durable as other TMCs and is Initiative 2, meaning that it strikes at the same speed as the lowly Ork and is out sped by anything that isn't a Power Fist or equivalent. However, where it lacks in speed, it makes up for in sheer brutality, sporting 3 attacks at base S9. Combined with it's Living Battering Ram special rule that grants it D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks instead of one, this makes it one of the premier options that Tyranids have for opening AV13/14.
  • Melee Weapons
    • Scything Talons - Carnifexes come equipped with two pairs of Scything Talons. Although being nerfed, they do allow for customization of a Carnifex by exchanging a pair for Wargear upgrades.
      • For those that want to keep Carnifexes cheap, this is a good option.
    • Crushing Claws - Crushing Claws grants a Carnifex S10 in Close Combat (note, not for Hammer of Wrath), allowing it to Instant Kill T5 as well as giving it the Armourbane USR, making it more likely to Penetrate AV13-14.
      • For Carnifexes designed for vehicle hunting, this is a good option.
  • Monstrous Bio-Cannons
    • Twin-Linked Deathspitter - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a TL Deathspitter, granting it three 18" TL shots at S5 AP5. This is not very good, especially when taken in context, it is outclassed by another Monstrous Biocannon.
      • This is a bad option.
    • Twin-Linked Devourer with Brainleech worms - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a TL Devourer with Brainleech Worms, granting it six 18" TL shots at S6 AP-. This allows a Carnifex to be multi-purpose, wounding Infantry through number of shots, as well as Light Armour and in emergencies, ground based AA.
      • This is a good option.
    • Stranglethorn Cannon - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a Stranglethorn Cannon, granting it one 36" shot at S6 AP5 Large Blast, Pinning Shot. The Stranglethorn Cannon may only be taken once per model and may not be taken with the Heavy Venom Cannon. This allows a Carnifex to act as a Infantry killer and support smaller Tyranids by potentially making it harder to shoot at them. However, with a Carnifexes bad Ballistic Skill, it might scatter off the target and is in general, outclassed by Biovores, who give three Large Blast Templates at a large ranger for the price of a standard Carnifex.
      • This is a bad option.
    • Heavy Venom Cannon - A Carnifex may replace one pair of Scything Talons with a Heavy Venom Cannon, granting it one 36" shot at S9 AP4 Blast. Only one Heavy Venom Cannon may be taken per model and may not be taken with the Stranglethorn Cannon. This allows a Carnifex to fire a single S9 shot before it charges a vehicle, making it easier to wreck vehicles, as well as Instant Killing T4. For Carnifexes designed for Vehicles-hunting, this could be the last glancing hit you need to wreck that vehicle.
      • This is a decent option.
  • Biomorphs
    • Toxin Sacs A Carnifex with Toxin Sacs has the Poisoned USR. This, combined with the natural S9 of the Carnifex, will normally allow it to re-roll failed to Wound rolls. However, the Carnifex only has 3 attacks base and WS3, meaning you might not get to make use of the re-roll to wounds.
      • This is a decent option.
    • Acid Blood A Carnifex with Acid Blood the ability to inflict a S5 AP2 hit per unsaved wound in Close Combat. This looks quite good, until you realise the Carnifex only has four Wounds, as well as the opponent having to take an Initiative before the hit can apply.
      • This is a bad option.
    • Adrenal Glands. A Carnifex with Adrenal Glands has the Fleet and Furious Charge USR. This allows a Carnifex to have S10 on the charge (note, not for Hammer of Wrath), as well as re-roll Run and Charge distances. This makes getting into combat much easier and combined with the Onslaught Psychic Power, allows Carnifexes to get into position quickly to start firing any Ranged Weapons they have.
      • This is a good option.
    • Regeneration. A Carnifex with Regeneration has the ability to regain lost wounds at the end of the game turn on a 4+. This looks promising, until one realizes it is the least durable Monstrous Creature that Tyranids have, on virtue of it having the fewest amount of Wounds (aside the Hive Tyrant, which can mitigate this with the Catalyst Psychic Power and Wings for a FMC profile) and only has a 3+ armour save coupled with it's Toughness characteristic of 6, meaning it can be focused fired down before it can make use of Regeneration.
      • This is a bad option.
  • Tail Biomorphs
    • Thresher Scythe - A Carnifex with a Thresher Scythe may make an additional S4 AP4 attack with the Rending special rule in close combat. Considering that the Carnifex that is in combat is usually geared for vehicle killing, this is not likely to help.
      • This is a bad option.
    • Bone Mace - A Carnifex with a Bone Mace may make an additional S8 AP - attack in close combat. They cost the same as Crushing Claws which will more reliably open vehicles, but if you feel that you are not destroying vehicles enough, it grants additional attack that may cause that final glancing hit.
      • This is a decent option.
  • Options
    • Additional Carnifexes - a Carnifex Brood may take up to two more Carnifexes. This allows a Tyranid player to shift Carnifexes around for Wound allocation purposes making the brood more durable, as well as have more Carnifexes without using up the Heavy Support slots. Any Carnifex brood consisting of two or three Carnifexes can not make use of the Tyrannocyte, making this option a speed vs durability argument.It is important to note however, that any Carnifex Brood with two or three models, are vulnerable to the harshest Instinctive Behaviour: Feed table.
      • For lists that do not use Tyrannocytes, or do not want Carnifexes using a Tyrannocyte, this is a good option.
      • For lists that do make use of Tyrannocytes, this is decent option.
    • Spine Banks - A Carnifex with Spine Banks may fire one 8" shot at S3 AP- Blast and is treated as having Assault Grenades. This is generally not worth it as the damage output is so low and Carnifexes have a low Initiative to begin with.
      • This is a bad option.
    • Bio-Plasma - A Carnifex with Bio=Plasma may fire one 12" shot at S7 AP2 Blast. This is better than Spine Banks as you can wound a lot more stuff. It is still a bit pricey however and for thirty points more, one can purchase an Exocrine, which has a larger blast or six shots at double the range and when stationary, a better BS.
      • This is a decent option.
    • Transport
      • Tyrannocyte: As soon as the Tyrannocyte was announced, there was much rejoicing amongst Tyranid players. Tyrannocytes give much needed speed to Tyranids, which allows Carnifexes to move up even faster than before. Note that only one MC model can embark the Tyrannocyte upon deployment. Tyrannocytes work best when a model can immedietly do something upon deployment, such as shoot or provide Synapse so is not the best option for all Carnifexes.
        • For single Carnifexes with Ranged Weapons, this is a good option.
        • For single Carnifexes with Melee only weapons, this is a decent option.
        • For Carnifexes with long range weapons (HVC or SC) or broods of two or more models, this is a bad option.
    • Standard Competitive Builds
      • Carnifex w/ 2x TL Devourers with Brainleech Worms - can be taken alone to fit in a Tyrannocyte or in multiples for more firepower, this type of Carnifex, known as the 'Dakkafex' spits out a large number of shots which shave wounds off units. Adrenal Glands are an optional extra to allow it to more reliable deal with vehicles or move into position.
      • Carnifex w/ Scything Talons, Crushing Claws - This type of Carnifex commonly has two more standard Carnifexes for ablative wounds, as they move up the battlefield looking for the highest AV vehicles and destroying them with ease. Adrenal Glands are not a necessity as the Crushing Claws variant can reliably deal with high AV vehicles and you normally have ablative wounds for your Crushing Claws Carnifex.
      • Carnifex w/ 2x Scything Talons, Adrenal Glands - The 'Screamer-Killer' is a basic Carnifex. It can either be taken in multiples for more Wounds to chew through, or as a single unit
  • Stone Crusher Carnifexes
    • From Forge World, Stone Crusher Carnifexes are even stronger than regular Carnifexes, boasting S10 on their base statline. This becomes even better when you consider the fact they also have Living Battery Ram, as well as their own special rules, Wrecker, Sunder and Carapace Chitin-rams. This gives all Hammer of Wrath attacks Armourbane and Monster Hunter, meaning they can put wounds on MC and vehicles alike. Wrecker and Sunder is what really sets them apart from Carnifexes, they are allowed to re-roll all failed Armour Penetration rolls, as well as add one to the result if against immobile structures and fortifications (on top of the +2 granted by the Wrecker Claws AP1 value) when using their Wrecker Claws. Although the Stone Wrecker Carnifex has less attacks than the Carnifex (two compared to three) any attack that goes through is more than likely going to cause an Explodes! result. As a trade off for their close combat power, they have no access to Monstrous Biocannons.
    • While they have an identical profile to the Carnifex (trading an attack for Strength 10 aside), they are more durable than Carnifexes, due to their Reinforced Caraspace special rule, which makes any shooting attacks resolved against a Stone Crusher Carnifex reduce their Strength by one. Essentially, this means the Stone Crusher Carnifex is T7 against shooting attacks (note this does not apply to close combat attacks).
  • Stone Crusher Carnifexes upgrades
    • Additional Stone Crusher Carnifexes - like regular Carnifexes, additional Carnifexes may be taken for Wound allocation purposes. Considering that they are Toughness 7 against shooting attacks, this will prolong the life of Stone Crusher Carnifexes considerably. As mentioned in the Tyrannocyte entry for Carnifexes, models that can do something upon Deep Strike arrival are good. Stone Crusher Carnifexes have the durability to run up the field and bear the brunt of most weapons, especially with Shrouded support. Note that broads of two or more Stone Crusher Carnifexes are vulnerable to the worst result on the Instinctive Behaviour: Feed table.
      • For lists that do make use of Tyrannocytes, this is decent option.
    • For lists that do not use Tyrannocytes, or do not want Stone Wrecker Carnifexes using a Tyrannocyte, this is a good option.
      • Spine Banks - Like regular Carnifexes, this does not help them destroy vehicles.
    • This is a bad option.
      • Bio-Plasma -Generally not worth it since a Stone Wrecker Carnifex does not want to be targetting Infantry.
    • This is a bad option.
      • Thresher Scythe - Like regular Carnifexes, this does not help them destroy vehicles.
    • This is a bad option.
      • Bone Mace - Unlike regular Carnifexes, Stone Wrecker Carnifexes do not require help destroying vehicles.
    • This is a bad option.
      • Wrecker Claw and Bio-Flail - A Stone Wrecker Carnifex with a Wrecker Claw and Bio-Flail replaces their ability to re-roll amour penetration on their regular attacks with the ability to cause Instant Death and gain a new rule, Sweep Attack. Sweep Attack allows a model to replace all their attacks with a number of attacks equal to the number of enemy models in base contact with them. This allows a Stone Crusher Carnifex with a Wrecker Claw and Bio-Flail to generate more attacks and stops it being tarpitted as easily, while the trade off is that they may find it harder to destroy vehicles.
    • For Stone Crusher Carnifex broods consisting of two or three models, this is a good option.
      • For Stone Crusher Carnifex broods consisting of one model, this is a decent option.
    • Transport
      • Much like a regular Carnifex, a single Stone Crusher Carnifex can embark on a Tyrannocyte. However, a Stone Wrecker Carnifex has more durability than a regular Carnifex and can forgo a Transport in favour of running up. Note however, that a Stone Wrecker Carnifex can not usse Adrenal Glands at all, so it is still quite slow in that regard, meaning the Tyrannocyte can provide the speed that a Stone Wrecker Carnifex needs in order to do damage.
        • For single Stone Wrecker Carnifexes, this is a good option.
        • For Stone Wrecker Carnifex broods of two or more models, this is a bad option.
    • Standard Competitive Builds
      • Stone Wrecker Carnifex w/ Wrecker Claws - A standard Stone Wrecker Carnifex does a fine job of destroying vehicles without any upgrades.
      • Stone Wrecker Carnifex w/ Wrecker Claw and Bio-flail - A Stone Wrecker Carnifex with Wrecker Claw and Bio-flail should only be taken in groups of two or more, as it prevents a heavily points invested unit being tarpitted easily.
  • Conclusion and Overall Rating
    • Carnifex Overall rating = A-
      • The Carnifex can provide a lot for a Tyranid army that is not covered well within the rest of the army, such as high volumes of fire or dealing with AV13-14 and as such, are recommended in most builds of Tyranids. The Carnifex can be kitted out for different roles, making it a multi-purpose unit, which is useful in the case that you may not always be playing against vehicles. The Carnifex just falls short of being an all-star by a reliance on Synapse to function well, as well as requiring support from other Tyranids to provide it with a cover save, or to simply draw fire away from it as it is fragile in comparison to other TMCs.
    • Stone Crusher Carnifex Overall Rating = B
      • While the Stone Crusher Carnifex is the best answer Tyranids have to heavy vehicle duties, it's role is very linear and does not allow much adaptability. It also suffers from requiring Synapse to be effective and even with pseudo Toughness 7, is still quite vulnerable to volume of fire with only four wounds.
    • The Beast of Phodia (Deathstorm): A Fex with Bio-Plasma and Stranglethorn. Add 15 Points, and you gain IWND, which is...a nice feature. At least he can take care of any TEQ handily.
  • Trygon: The Trygon is a former Apocalypse heavyweight which has been scaled down for standard 40k games and is the smallest of the bio-titans and the only bio-titan to lack biocannons. An expensive model to be sure, it is still considered one of the highlights of the Tyranid codex. Like most other Tyranid Monstrous Creatures, the 6 Toughness 6 wounds (Formerly Toughness 7 5 wounds back in it's days of being a forge world exclusive, the toughness was probably decreased so that it wouldn't be COMPLETELY immune to S3 weapons like lasguns anymore while it was given another wound to compensate) allow it to take hits like a champ, its raw statline and Fleet, makes him a melee powerhouse. As Scything Talons got nerfed hard, they no longer are quite the bringers of death they were before. However, as toxin sacs can be bought for less than a gaunt, they can rather easily regain their rerolling death, even if it is for wounds rather than hits. It also has a respectably powerful shooting attack. As a final note, the Trygon itself does not have the option for a Mycetic Spore(but that's gone now), but Deep Strikes with the same Scatter-reduction rules built into its cost; you should always use this rule as it gets the Trygon into combat very quick. Can also leave a hole for 1 infantry unit per turn to arrive from after it emerges (Pro Tip, combine this with Zoanthropes, Raveners or a big blob of devourer armed Termagants).
    • Trygon Prime: We've come across one of the units that didn't change much from the update (Other than being 10 pts cheaper and have access to the Bio-Artefacts), but remains a viable choice nonetheless. The fact that it can Deep Strike and provide Synapse makes him suited for a fast moving list and being a back up Synapse creature in case something bad happened to your other Synapse creatures. You really have to take advantage of the Deep Strike rule to get your points worth, otherwise it will be a waste and be outclassed by a walking Hive Tyrant with Tyrant Guards. The fact you can equip Artefacts like the Reaper of Obliterax is enticing, although again, just taking it to use the weapon and nothing more will not only be a point sink, but will attract guns to shoot at it. However if you play to the Prime's strength and use his rules, then he's worth taking. Upgrades are't needed, although Toxin Sacs and Regeneration are great, albeit the latter is expensive, which you need to keep it cheap unless you're playing a game where you have plenty of points to spend. Toss in a Toxinspike tail if you know you'll be facing high toughness monsters, otherwise keep him bare as he can still tear units apart and haves enough wounds to see him through the mid game and beyond. Given that he costs 40 pts extra than a regular Trygon, while still keeping most of the same stats that makes him good and provide Synapse, you won't be disappointed in the Prime if you use his rules to your advantage.
  • Mawloc: A Trygon that costs 50pts less, with -2WS, -2A, no access to ranged weapons, and the ability to cause damage to enemy squads as it enters play. A polarizing unit, one that can either do a ton of pie plate damage, or die horribly with just a bad die roll or two. The good: If a Mawloc deep strikes onto an enemy unit, instead of Mishaping, Terror From the Deep lets you place a large blast over the spot the Mawloc is deep striking. Any models under the template take a S6AP2 hit with Ignores Cover. If there is still no room to place the model after this then you get a second S6AP2 Pie Plate (the codex says the Mawloc HAS to be placed within one inch of the enemy unit if it has the space). Combo TFtD with the Mawloc's Burrow ability, allowing it to enter Ongoing Reserves for another Deep Strike, and Hit and Run, to use Burrow to its fullest extent. The bad: the survivors are NOT pushed out of the way like they were in 5th ed. Thus if those two pie plates aren't enough, the Mawloc immediately Mishaps, with all the bad news that entails (1/6 chance of instantly dead Mawloc; 1/3 chance of your opponent putting it next to something that can kill it easily). Vehicles are only hit on side armor; Hive Mind help you if you scatter onto anything with SA13+ and/or more than two HP, or any model with a decent invul save. Also, bear in mind that TFtD does not distinguish between friendly and enemy models, so if you scatter into your own unit you WILL have to Pie Plate it.
    • Not too many armies can boast an Ignores-Cover large blast which burns through Terminator armor, and (possibly) hits twice. Forget Metal boxes; your targets are Broadsides, Jetbike squadrons, Gravcannon Centurions, etc. TFtD is also not a shooting attack, Meaning its one of the only few large blast weapons that flat-out ignores Invisibility (alongside, incidentally, Spore weapons). If nothing else, it keeps Deathstars honest.
  • Exocrine: Another new model with a big gun that's Assault 6, Str 7, AP2 shots. Or it can drop a big blast that's also S7 AP2. Park its butt for a round, and it's +1 BS (As an extra thought, give this adrenaline glands and have someone cast onslaught on it, it can stay stationary in the movement phase, then run a re-rollable D6 then shoot at BS 4). Its stats are slightly weaker than base monster stats but it can still hold its own in a fight. Too bad the range isn't all that good, so make sure it has a few meat-shields (or Venomthropes) protecting it.
  • Tyrannofex: A primarily ranged Bio-titan; This unit is of hotly debated usefulness. Scorned by some, and cherished as an unassailable bastion of destruction by others, they are ultimately models that lack a unified purpose. Costing five more points than a Keeper of Secrets, T-Fexes have six wounds, a toughness of six, and a 2+ save, meaning they are essentially invulnerable to regular infantry. Their standard build is bristling with anti-infantry weaponry, sporting two flamer templates and a short range large blast, but most people don't feel they particularly need more anti-infantry support from such an expensive unit. What the Tyranids do need is anti-armor, and that is something the Tyrannofex provides, but at considerable cost and with remedial reliability. Fans of the T-Fex insist it is a perfect tool because it draws fire away from your more important units without flinching, while opponents detract that the T-Fex's weakness is being ignored. The model is so costly that one must sacrifice whole broods of other units to field one, so it doesn't always hurt the enemy to just not shoot at the T-Fex. The reason why their use is debated at all is because T-Fexes are the Tyranid codex's only long range anti-armor units, providing a S10, Assault 2 firearm that can reach across the board, letting you crack open Land Raiders from a long distance. Ultimately they are slow, fill a niche by desperation rather than proficiency, and should not be used in games with point limits below 1,500. If titans, superheavy tanks, gargantuan creatures, and stompas are appearing on the board (such as in a game of apocalypse) T-fexes find themselves overshadowed due to the sheer number of biocannon (all of them being S10 AP3 Heavy 3-9 weapons) equipped units that will become available to the tyranids. But they do provide a nice backup to the gargantuan bio-titans. A good use for them in apocalypse is to clear away super-heavy units that would otherwise tie down your Bio-titans or threaten your army while leaving your Apocalypse Bio-titans free to focus on other things. Additionally, they make for excellent Titan finishers. Essentially, treat them as more expendable shadow sword equivalents. For some incomprehensible reason, both the Acid Spray and Rupture cannon are only AP4, making them useless against MEQs, seriously, it's chances of penetrating a land raider's armour is *identical* to it's chances of getting by a marine's armour save, what the fuck? Alternatively, a Tyrannofex can be used as a linebreaker unit, since most power weapons are ap3 now.
    • Alternate use - As said previously, the secondary weapons are created primarily for anti-infantry. Therefore, make the tyrannofex a complete infantry hunter (Your elite slots should be your anti-vehicle. They do a much better job). In the new edition thorax swarms now count as weapons in their own right, meaning they count towards your total number of shots per turn, so gone are the days of the triple-template Tyrannofex. However, thorax swarms no longer have to be taken, and electroshock grub now have the haywire rule, giving the Tyrannofex some close range anti armour power and a surprisingly good overwatch weapon against charging Dreadnoughts. With a 2+ armor save, T6 and W6, deploy as a line-breaker (which will also qualify this beast to be your DISTRACTION CARNIFEX) and force your opponent to choose between unloading ALL his firepower to kill it, or retreating his units out of cover, which could work well for your other units. And don't forget that it's STILL an MC, so don't be afraid to smash any vehicles unfortunate enough to get within charge range. Give this creature regeneration and it'll survive the whole game. Add the thorax Fleshbane template to the acid spray for extra OMFGRUN cover-clearing naughtiness.
  • Toxicrene: A new monster released with rules separate from the codex, this is essentially a jumbo-venomthrope made for offenses. It has Shrouded and 2+ Poisoned Lash Whips and has both the Toxic Miasma and a special Choking Cloud. This cloud is a 12" S3 AP- 2+ Poisoned Large Blast that ignores cover and gains Armourbane against open-topped vehicles or those that already lost a HP. The bigger bonus, though, is that all these poisoned attacks grant it Instant Death on a 6 to-wound, meaning that it has a slightly better chance of wiping out anything close to it. It thoroughly disassembles Riptides and other MCs in close combat - wounding on a 2 with AP2 is no joke, despite the mediocre WS - but walkers or MCs with a strong invulnerable save can slow it down. Shrouded means it essentially brings its own Venomthrope/Malanthrope anywhere it goes, so it needs less escorting than most other melee beasts and is harder to shoot off the board than a Trygon or Hive Tyrant.
    • Despite its Initiative score of six (with Lash Whips) and its high number of attacks, it is hampered by its low WS, so you'll get a few wounds/kills per turn, but those wounds are almost guaranteed due to 2+ poison and AP2 so focus on high value / low model count units unless you're fighting against 3++ save opponents. A pair of Carnifexes in one squad or a Trygon can both put out about the same amount of hurt (not counting biomorphs or toxic miasma) , but the Toxicrene is cheaper than those and still has that advantage of speed. The Toxicrene fails against vehicles due to its lower strength (barring the Smash hail-Mary) and its shooting attack is really just a gimmick against since S3 Armourbane can only reliably harm AV10 anyway (though can dent a Land Raider if you are very lucky). As mentioned at the start of this section, choosing the Toxicrene should really depend on what else you have taken in your army and if you have heavy infantry/MC slaying in the bag already then consider something else.
    • Alternate Opinion: It's best to ignore the shooting attack, though using it on Land Speeder squadrons could be hilarious. Just think of the shooting attack as a better version of Cluster Spines. The Toxicrene is a multi-purpose beast, able to damage most elite melee units and monstrous creatures before they can strike, able to utterly devastate tarpits with a pie-plate and Toxic Miasma and, outside of combat, pretty damn hard to kill because it has Shrouded by itself and doesn't need to hug a Venomthrope for it.
    • The Toxicrene rules are easy to find as they've been officially released on the internet so it's not hard to check.
  • Tyrannocyte: And like a vision from heaven, GW's corrupt mental systems finally gained a spark of helpfulness and gave the Nid Players what they wanted: A drop pod (though it lacks the Marines' Turn 1 Assaults, but them's the breaks). A Monstrous Creature transport that can't assault or sweep but can fight in CC (meaning your opponent should weigh up whether it's a good idea to assault or not, unlike a completely passive Drop Pod). It also carries 5 (check it, FIVE) Deathspitters that must fire at the same time, though they can be at five separate targets due to the fancy Instinctive Fire special rule, with options for either Barbed Stranglers or Venom Cannons to help defend it, which are both much better options anyway since they don't rely on BS2 as much to hit anything. Can hold either 20 models or 1 Monstrous Creature (Meaning Fex Broods and Tyrants with Guards still have to leg it). That's right; deep striking genestealers, Carnifexes or Hive Tyrants. We back in business! The major downside to this is ultimately price; 75 Points is a rather high price for a transport (but still low for a 6W T5 Monstrous Creature with Five guns) bringing other weapons ups it to 100, making it a strange mix between Land Raider and Drop Pod in use. Suicide units will probably be best served, as they'll have the ability to distract an enemy where they least expect it and if they're monsters, they'll have little to fear from IB.
    • It does NOT actually take up a Heavy Support slot in the army, however even then it is NOT required to be attached to a unit like a Dedicated transport usually is (even if you don't transport said unit), meaning you can essentially spam these things and cause your enemy some serious area denial with cheap multi-shot monstrous creatures.
    • It's worth noting that since it's a Monstrous Creature it has a 360 degree arc of fire (and can pivot to fire at a target), thus for 200 points you can have two Tyrannocytes that can drop a total of 10 pie plates a turn...in addition to whatever it's carrying inside....
    • Instinctive Fire is worth describing, as you cannot choose its targets unless there are multiple units exactly equidistant away:
      • Each weapon on this model automatically fires at the nearest enemy unit within range and line of sight. The shots are resolved at the end of the Shooting phase before Morale checks are taken. Each weapon can fire at a different target unit, but they cannot be fired in any other way or at any other time.
  • Sporocyst: This shouldn't really be considered as a unit, though it technically is; it's more of a 75-point living fortification that can infiltrate and then open fire on whatever it sees. See, it's immobile, but in exchange, it gains 5 Deathspitters (which can be replaced with Barbed Stranglers/Venom Cannons) it can fire at anything near LOS with it due to the same Instinctive Fire rule as the Tyrannocyte. It can also spit out three Spore Mines each turn too (or spit out a Mucolid Spore once per game) within 6" of it, making it really helpful in threatening space. As a third boon, this thing also adds 6" to the Synapse Range of any Synapse Creature within 6" of it, making babysitting less of a major chore (Though you'll still need Synapse to start with, so Tervigons aren't totally bunked). Sure it's WS/BS2 T5 with only a 4+, but it has 6. FUCKING. WOUNDS. And if you cover it with a Venomthrope or two, you're practically set to make anyone think twice about charging your gunline.
    • Whether 3 Spore Mines or 1 Mucolid Spores, the Sporocyst churns out 15 points worth of models every turn. Keep it alive for 5 and it already brought its points back in, not counting all the harm its five guns could wreak. Also keep in mind that, as the Sporocyst is a Monstrous Creature, it can Smash. If the enemy assaults it with a Dreadnought, he deserves whatever happens to it.

Apocalypse Units/ Lords of War[edit]

  • Hierodule Though it looks like a gigantic gaunt, it's really more like a carnifex on angry, angry steroids; this Bio-titan eats tanks for breakfast and is roughly the Tyranid equivalent of a baseline Stompa or a Warhound class scout titan. It comes in two versions, the melee only version which has four huge scything talons that can carve up vehicles and superheavies in close combat, and has a huge flamer. The ranged version has two huge scything talons and two biocannons (this particular version of the biocannon is S10 AP3 assault 6) which means that you can spit out twelve S10 AP3 hits per turn, now despite "only" having AP3, the sheer number of high strength shots will quite regularly defeat AV 14, so you can pop open land raiders and monoliths (the only two units with AV 14 all around), kill baneblades and battle fortresses from the front (though it's still recommended that you go for their side or rear armor, because you should always try to take the most favorable option possible attack their weak point for massive damage), take out titans and stompas (Void shields and power fields only have an AV of 12 and collapse if struck with either a glancing or penetrating hit, though only one layer of shielding will be destroyed by a single hit; as for a titan's armor, it's generally identical to a baneblade's, not even a warlord has AV 14 on it's sides or rear) (Partially correct, its AV15 on the side), Brass scorpions, and Gargantuan creatures. Overall, a solid choice. In addition, all biotitans can tank shock, but this is generally most useful for the melee Hierodule, as it lets it just plow through a whole army of infantry models to get at the superheavy sitting at the back with a smug smile on it's face. Hilariously, Lysander can beat even the melee version of this in CC, for 1/3 of the points, but that tends to apply to most storm-shielded models up against Tyranids. But don't buy the model - buy this and replace it's arms with rupture cannons stuck on flesh-borer hive bitz (if you want a fat-looking knock-off).Put the hierodule's head on,and you get rid of the outdated body.
  • Hierophant Coming in at a thousand points, the Hierophant is the priciest Tyranid unit in regular scale (or more accurately, not-epic) 40k and is easily one of the priciest units period. But it makes up for that by having two extremely long ranged s10 ap3 (yes, a shot from this is more likely to kill Land Raider than it is a terminator, go figure) assault 6 biocannons, gargantuan creature rules, a metric fuckton of claws, lash-whips, warp-fields, and some of the highest armor saves, toughness, wounds, and strength stats you have ever seen. You thought the four uber-daemons were tough? You haven't seen shit, compared to this beastie those four are nothing. There is not a single non-apocalypse unit in any codex that this thing wouldn't eat for breakfast. No matter what range it fights at, it will fuck something's shit up. Mr.space marine with a hidden power fist doesn't have shit on this guy. It is however, an colossal firemagnet, even if he is nigh on impossible to kill. With regeneration, he is pretty much the ultimate damage sponge, the few things that do hurt him will simply be rolled away. The psychic power 'Warp Field' gives it a 6++. Where it really shines is close combat against other super heavies where it will RIP AND TEAR with wild abandon. It also has access to a few useful upgrades, e.g. a hellstorm Str 5 AP 3 flamer, when wounded causing a large blast that is either auto wound ap 2 or D3 glancing hits, or being able to have a 20 transport capacity should help to transport vulnerable units across the board.
  • Harridan the Tyranids' flyer, it is for all intents and purposes, a fucking flying Hierodule (with the best of both versions) it has the exact same bio-cannons as a Hierodule (S10 Ap3 assault 6 x2) but as a flyer, most things can't hit it, and it can pop open tanks with it's bio-cannons or its claws and is one of the only Tyranid units that can deal with enemy flyers (some people debate that it can actually assault a flyer, tearing it's shit up, and now with sixth edition, it most certainly can!). It can carry One Gargoyle brood, but mainly you want this for the bio-cannons mounted on a extremely difficult to hit platform, though a trio of Harridans shitting out sixty Gargoyles right on top of someone is a hilarious way to drown someone in flyers. Due to its immensely powerful guns, only superheavy fliers have any chance of surviving being shot at by the bio-cannons and even then they're going to take a severe beating to their 1d3 structure points. With its gargoyle broods, it can fulfill three out of four major roles for fliers excellently, air superiority, ground attack, and bombing. Strangely for a Tyranid unit, it's very elite compared to other fliers, very powerful, but also expensive, so the enemy's fliers will probably outnumber your harridans. Escort them with flyrants and harpies, laugh at your enemies feeble attempts at stopping these terrors from tearing them a new asshole. And if you stand still, you can shoot your bio-cannons TWICE, twelve S10 shots are going to fuck over anything it comes across. Really the only other flier that can challenge the Harridan is the Manta. Pray you never have to fight a manta, with it's 4++, 10SP, 96 S6 shots, 11 TL S7 AP3 shots, 2 Heavy Railguns and shitload of missiles.

Note that copious amounts of Poisoned weapons are the bane of bio-titans (note that the FAQ says that super heavy creatures are only poisoned on a 6 rather a 4 or less, so it's not that bad), so armies like the Dark Eldar who typically spontaneously explode in apocalypse games are actually a legitimate threat to your units. Be wary of this, and unless you are confident that your smaller units are the real punch of your army, and not the bio-titans, be prepared to sacrifice other Tyranid units to keep your Bio-titans safe from poison. Also don't forget to use their FNP and IWND - these are key parts of why GCs are so dangerous. Also remember Fleshbane is modified too; but 30k mechancium is able to bring this in quantity so don't get careless.


  • Aegis Defense Line - Since Venomthropes are kinda mobile, the only thing in your army that might need this are your Biovores; everything else should be moving forward. Quad-gun or Icarus Lascannon is rarely useless as well.
  • Imperial Bastion - Another static emplacement in a mobile army. An Icarus Lascanon for some anti-air is fun, but besides that you're looking at Hive Guard and bugger all else sitting inside this thing. Mostly useful as a LOS blocker and place to put a Comms Relay on.
  • Skyshield Landing Pad - See preceding comments about Biovores and Hive Guard. Dakkafexes might also like the invuln save. The loss of Mycetic Spores means you don't have much that really WANTS to Deep Strike (from above, anyway).
  • Fortress of Redemption - No. Just fucking no.
  • Vengeance weapon battery This right here? Best fortification for Tyranids is really cheap because it has no capacity for models, which for you isn't a detriment at all gives cheap, high strength sky-fire or cheap high strength large blasts which you DESPERATELY NEED


Shield of Baal: Leviathan[edit]

Remember back at the pre-7E rumors that there was gonna be a Blood Angels campaign starter set? Well, there's a few things a bit right about it. See, there is an incoming campaign bookset like how The End Times works, and it's focusing on the Blood Angels and their defense of a sector near their homeworld of Baal from Hive Fleet Leviathan. It also brings in Cities of Death and Death From the Skies for 7E.

Hive Fleet Detachment[edit]

Oooooh boy, is GeeDubs desperate to make up for the dicking of 6E. See, this detachment starts off with a mandatory HQ and three Troops. And then it keeps getting bigger. You now have 3 HQ, 9 Troops (meaning FOUR FUCKING TERVIGONS AND 240 GAUNTS if you want to keep with that and not use the fun new Mucolids,) and the standard 3 Elites, 3 HS, and 3 FA slots. That is going to be a fucking lot of gaunts. Even better, you not only have the mandatory Warlord re-roll, but you can also re-roll Instinctive Behavior. FUCK YES. Alas, this detachment does not have Objective Secured Troops. That would be too amazing. Note: this detachment is ideal for Flying Circus lists with 3 Flyrants, Mucolid Spore Pods as troops, and Crones, but remember, if your opponent breaks your arms for playing it, he will be acquitted.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Cunning Warlord: Infiltrate. A pretty decent way to get you a little less distance to march forward if you're running anything out of a Tyrannocyte (read: Flyrants and Walkrants with Guard).
  2. Innate Understanding: Warlord and his group get Preferred Enemy. Obviously, this can give you a really big boost with a Prime with his horde of Gaunts or a Swarmy with his Guards. It might almost make up for the shit BS!
  3. Evolving Strategy: +1 to Reserves. Kinda helpful, but if you're hoping to stall a little bit with that Trygon's arrival, you might run into a wall as he suddenly makes it in.
  4. Mind Eater: Same as the main 'dex -- 2VP for each IC killed in a challenge. Not really much better here.
  5. Digestive Denial: Same as the main 'dex -- A piece of non-purchased terrain in the enemy DZ gets -1 cover. Still pretty trash.
  6. Adaptive Biology: Same as the main 'dex -- If the Warlord loses a Wound, they gain 5+ FNP during their next movement phase. If they last there, that is.

Dataslate: Deathwatch Overkill[edit]

Returning from out of the depths of the Rogue Trader era, Genestealer cults are once again a viable army for 40k, and can be used for some serious shenanigans when allied with a Tyranid force, though if desired, the cult is perfectly capable of running by itself as a small battle-forged primary detachment.


  • Patriarch (Ghosar) - 115pts - The Patriarch’s access to Telepathy (which he shares with the Magus) all by itself will likely see him used in many Tyranid lists, if only to add another psychic discipline. But, mind games aren’t the Patriarch’s only hobby. He also enjoys ripping out 4 S5 attacks with Rending, Shred, and AP3, letting his gribbly familiar get in two more Rending cheap shots, and using his status as an Independent Character to join units and get Look Out Sir! saving rolls whenever someone wants to take a pot shot at him. A pretty fun guy, for a ‘nid. Ultimately, the Patriarch's combination of psychic powers, beastly stats, and relatively low point cost makes him the second best Tyranid HQ behind the flyrant. With invisibility on he can go toe to toe with most characters, specially since he will beat them to the punch unless they are daemon princes or Jain Zar.
  • Magus (Orthan Trysst) - 65pts - At first glance, the Magus doesn’t seem to have much going for him. He has access to Telepathy, sure, but the Patriach can do pretty much everything he can do, and more. But, the Magus is less expensive by 50 points, and has two things that even the Patriarch doesn’t: He has a Force Weapon and Ballistic Skill.
  • Primus (Vorgan Trysst) - 75pts - Cheap Melee character that is AP2 Instant Death on a roll of 6 to wound (Riptides and Wraithknights beware). Also has Zealot so can provide a nice buff to a big unit of Cultists.


  • Acolyte Hybrids (The Favoured Disciples) - 85pts - At first the hybrids seem underwhelming, having autopistols and guardsman toughness/saves until you realize the plethora of bonuses going for them. First is the fact that they are 2 attacks per head (plus +1 for 2ccw). This means a 4 whooping attacks on the charge at WS/I/S 4. On the charge they pull 48 attacks at max size (a possibility considering that with the formation you get a 4+ in the open and you have 2 psykers with possible invisibility). That is 24 hits, 12 wounds, 4 of which are rending. Statistically you'll have killed 4 Termies (140 points!) with a unit of 85. Even the TH-SS will suffer a casualties' worth bigger than the unit's point cost. The best thing is that they are fearless as stock, making them a nice tarpit for monstrous creatures or simply for going into the front lines. Extra points if you tarpit a riptide on turn one and tie him for the whole game.
  • Neophyte Hybrids (The Faithful Throng) - 110pts - Neophyte Hybrids are basically cultists for tyranids, except they have higher initiative and leadership, a better save, and better gear in the form of grenade launchers, mining lasers (a half-ranged lascannon), and assault grenades. Unfortunately, that’s balanced out by the fact that they don’t have any optional toys and are stuck at just 16 dudes. A tarpit horde they aren’t. Thankfully, Primus Vorgan Trysst can act as a sort of pseudo-Dark Apostle and can used to a similar effect, giving your hybrid cultists a boost in staying power.


  • Purestrain Genestealers (The Purestrain Princelings) - 30pts - The Princelings are both better and worse than generic genestealers. They are better in the sense that they have hit-and-run, allowing them to run out of combats you're not comfortable with, and MTC to rape those marines hidden in ruins. The problem is that, with the squad size hard-capped at 2 models, these guys are going to be hard pressed to actually get into combat with anything they can threaten. With Ghosar they become a…passable honor guard, making 2 nice ablative wounds, but even then the only real reason to bring the Princelings over a pack of ordinary genestealers is for the Broodkin formation, where they can infiltrate with the Patriarch and pull some turn one assault trolling.
  • Aberrant Hybrids (The Brothers Aberrant) - 120pts - The unit has 8 wounds in total, average genestealer toughness and hit as hard as a bloody carnifex. The rending claws are a nice bonus, as they give a bonus attack to the pick aberrants (remember, the pick is not specialist!) and give you a shooting chance to wound termies with the pick guys (wounding on 3+ for the chance to ignore their to 2+ saves is welcome, specially when they will get to attack before them). Their 5+ save is alleviated by a 5+FNP (but with T4 you better be wary of dem meltas). Stubborn may make them a nice tarpit against mid-tier meelee units but you're better using the formation to get them fearless.


  • Ghosar Quintus Broodkin - 600pts - All the guys in the box together get infiltrate and Shrouded until turn 2 and get to assault turn 1 for fun. To add to this the Patriach and Princelings can infiltrate anywhere 1 inch away from enemy units meaning TURN ONE ASSAULTS ARE BACK BABY. Also gives a way for your Abberants to get into melee range because the Cult can't afford limos yet. Also a chance to get Invisibility is pretty fucking great, in conclusion it’s a nice addition to any Tyranid list.


[Under construction. More opinions would be appreciated]

A wise player once told me that an assault army is only as good as its fire support, so you could use allies to plug the long range punch gap in the tyranid codex. This reduces your dependancy on monstrous creatures or the ever crowded elite slot to handle armour.

Allies of Convenience[edit]

  • Genestealer Cults: Gives you access to units which can assault out of reserves and various tanks and other cheap blobs. Also has decent Genestealers, gaining Stealth and Hyper Reflexes (5++) in exchange for being Elites rather than Troops. This hardly matters as you'll most likely bring them as a formation. You can deploy 1" away minimum, your army won't derp on a roll of a 1, but no shared psychic powers or Warlord traits. Keep in mind that Gen. Cults give you access to Guard vehicles which don't have a chance of freezing on a 1, so use them instead.

Come the Apocalypse[edit]

  • Armies of the Imperium - Short-ranged firepower á la carte.
    • Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard - Gaunts vs Guards is an argument for a better writer than myself (and huge blobs have trouble staying out of One-Eye-Open range), so let's focus on what you really want from the humans: tanks. Lots and lots of armored support. With vehicles now harder to explode than ever and Smash now only getting one attack, vehicles might just be worth the investment.
    • Imperial Knights - Only a few models so deployment won't be a problem also because you want super-heavies without taking a cock up the ass from Forge World. Luckily those pie-plate cannons have just enough range to make it all work out nicely. Just remember that Knights explode horribly on death. Take an errant you want long range high strength low AP weapons the errant has long range high strength low AP weapons
    • Militarum Tempestus - This... Could be pretty cool actually! The flyer formation or mass deep strike tactics could be very good with tyranids to attract fire, and might help with getting rid of mass power armour or tanks (deep striking melta t2), especially if you also take inquisition servo-skull shenanigans. Although fluffwise, it might be a bit hard to justify just like most of alliences with Nids... Not really: The Tempest use a Nid attack as cover for a Black op Valkyrie raid. Makes perfect sense?
  • Chaos Daemons - Monstrous Creatures with psychic powers and hordes of little chitterlings for minions. Yeah, this definitely seems familiar territory at first. Still, the Warp is nothing if not fickle and the clashing flavors can spell doom for each side in equal measure. Make sure to make the most of those extra Warp Charges and speedy low-AP options before the inevitable One-Eye-Open takes effect (and with two assault-happy armies, it will). Plus, you can have some fun with daemon summoning and the formations that make your gaunts respawn to build an army that JUST WON'T FUCKING DIE!
  • Chaos Marines - For the moment, refer to comments about 3+ armor spam above. With Gaunts on your side you shouldn't need cultists either unless you really love Mark of Khorne. Although baledrakes + skyblight swarm could be lulzy.
  • Dark Eldar - Well thanks to the new codex update, the new dark eldar hotness seems to be coven lists. And a coven lists can't really bring tyranids anything as your MCs beat the pain engines, and having pretty tough objective holders is pretty useless when you can have tervigons and spawning/respawning gaunts. The main point of dark eldar nowadays seems to be giving allies assault transports, and you can't use them, sooooo.....
  • Eldar - Yay, Shadow in the Warp next to a psyker-happy army. Unless you need Wave Serpents or anti-MEQ weapons, pro'lly best to stick to Dark Eldar instead.
  • Necrons - Another hammer-and-anvil combination. Not a lot of opponents can match both the Necrons' guns AND the 'Nid swarm. Just remember, Canopteks might be less useful with all that One-Eye-Open jazz, but you should have more than enough green lightning to make up for it. You could also spam flyers, works well enough with 'nids actually.
  • Orks - The only thing 'Nids have that Orks need is Monstrous Creatures. Ork vehicles might hit the sweet spot, but beyond that you're just mixing two horde armies, and with One-Eye-Open to worry about you might want to look elsewhere.
  • Tau - Long-range anti-everything mixed with tarpit damage-sponge goodness. Be sure to jump-shoot-jump; you have the ability to screen Crisis Suits in a way Puretide could only dream of.

Dataslate Formations[edit]

  • Hive Vanguard (Start Collecting Tyranids pack): A measly intro pack to the pain of Tyranids, this gives you a Tyrant, three Warriors and a pack of Gargoyles. If the Gargoyles are within 18" of the Tyrant at the beginning of movement, they can jump off the board to perform another Deep-Strike, which can't scatter if they're DSing next to the Warriors. This might help bring Gargoyles in for a distraction on the other side of the board or perhaps to recover them from an unwinnable fight, but aside from that, they can do little else.
    • Another way to look at it is to max out the gargoyles unit to 30, and deep strike them in to the enemy's lines turn 1. There's also no reason you can't run a flyrant in this formation so he can meet them up there. Imagine running 2-3 of these formations. 90 gargoyles infront of your enemy turn 1 offloading all their guns. Plus 3 flyrants. Pretty darn good.
    • It could also be used to grab unclaimed or contest objectives late game. Requires some luck on the scatter, but could be nice.
  • Lictor Forest Brood: This Formation consists of 5 Lictors (which act as if they were a single unit), and allows them to switch the Stealth rule for the Shrouded rule. In addition, they can be deployed as close as 6" to an enemy unit if they use Infiltrate to deploy into a forest. Situational, but could be useful on the right map. (Just to remind you pheromones 6 mawloc lulz)
  • Manufactorum Genestealers: This Formation consists of 5 Genestealer Broods (which may not include additional Genestealers, or a Broodlord (according to the draft FAQ)). They gain Hit&Run and if they Infiltrate to deploy into a Building or Ruins, they can deploy up to 6" of an enemy unit. It's not much, but it helps them get into close quarters more safely than usual.
  • Deathleaper's Assassin Brood: This formation consists of Deathleaper and 5 Lictors; any unit within 12" of any model in the formation gets a -1 penalty to Leadership, and also benefits from Preferred Enemy (Characters and Independent Characters). Note that due to FAQs, this means they hit harder versus any unit thar contains at least one Character...including a Sergeant. This gives them insurance against rolling 1s to wound vs most "human" armies, though Xenos and Demons tend to lack mandatory "sergeants."
  • Broodlord's Hunting Pack: This formation consists of 3 Genestealer Broods (one of which must contain a Broodlord, and only one Broodlord can be taken). If they arrive from Reserves, they can set up in any unoccupied Building or a Ruin (although they have to be more than 6" away from enemy units in the latter case). In addition, they gain Preferred Enemy towards a unit of your choice when they deploy.
  • Gargoyle Bio-Bombs: This formation consists of 3 Spore Mine Clusters and 3 Gargoyle Broods. If a Spore Mine Cluster in the formation starts a move (including Run or Charge) within 6" of a Gargoyle from the Formation, it can move 6" in the movement phase and will not halve the distance rolled if it runs or charges. Perfect for getting your mines into position quickly.
  • Endless Swarm: 3 broods of Hormagaunts, 2 broods of Termagants, and one brood of Tyranid Warriors. Each time one of the Gaunt broods is destroyed, roll a D6; on a 4+, it goes back into ongoing reserves, with the original number of models, weapons, and upgrades it had when you started. If that one gets destroyed, you can try to put it back into reserves as many times as you can pass the roll. It seems good- right until you read the part where it says the opponent still gets victory points from destroying the units that make up the formation even after they come back. Ask yourself a question: do you REALLY want to feed your opponent an endless stream of victory points? The answer is yes, because in the other 5 missions you may have an unending stream of objective holders and if you've lost that many 30 gaunt units in killpoints, you've already lost anyway.
    • The Apocalypse formation gives you the option of 3+ termies and 3+ hormies (With no need for a babysitting Warrior brood), all with the ability to force the enemy to only take snapshots at them if they roll a d3 less than their turn number (making it unstoppable after turn 3) and can resurrect an entire unit without cost during a break. Quite obviously, this was the basis upon which the other swarm formations the Dataslates have came from.
  • Incubator Node: 3 broods of Termagants join a Tervigon and only give the big guy the ability to re-roll ones to spawn more gaunts. It's essentially a free set of troops since there's no limit as to how big the gaunt broods can be, and this can definitely free up troop slots for some Warriors. BUT there is a [insert math here] bigger chance of rolling a double be wary of this (actually you should get the exact same amount of termagants just with larger, fewer broods)
  • Synaptic Swarm: Tyranid Prime joins three broods of Warriors and they all get an 18" synapse range. This isn't going to make any of them good by a long shot, but it'll definitely give you some free synapse if you're using up your troop slots for gaunts and Tervigons.
  • Skyblight Swarm: A Flyrant, a Crone, 2 Harpies and 3 Gargoyle broods enter a bar...and then the Flying Circus begins! All these FMC's give the Gargoyles Objective Secured- a very powerful tool since it takes effect even in Unbound lists. Also, like the Endless Swarm Formation, if a brood of Gargoyles get killed, they go back to ongoing reserves with the exact same loadout as before on a 4+. Ask again: Do you REALLY want to fork over infinite victory points? The answer again is yes, because do you really care as long as there's a 5/6 (11/12 with Maelstrom) chance of playing an objective game anyway?
  • Living Artillery Node: An Exocrine joins 3 Biovores and a Warrior Brood with a Venom Cannon or a Barbed Strangler. This gives everyone Pinning on their shooting and the ability to re-roll the scatter die when firing a Blast or Barrage weapon. AWESOME - re-rolling the scatter on Blast/Barrage is once again - AWESOME
  • Bioblast Node: A Tyrannofex joins 3 Carnifex broods, each with a monstrous biocannon, and a Warrior brood with a biocannon. For this, the entire formation gets Split Fire and anyone within the 12" of the Warriors can reroll 1s to Wound in shooting. Pretty decent for the Warriors to get some protection, but they're still sitting ducks.
  • Wrecker Node: The same formation as above, minus the Tyrannofex and the mandatory dakka (In fact, you can't take any biocannons at all). The Warriors still let anyone within 12" of them to reroll 1s to wound, but this time in assault. Also, the Fexes now inflict D3+1 HoW hits. Largely less useful because of the Warriors' weakness to things harder than a stiff breeze.
  • Tyrant Node: A walking Tyrant takes a brood of 3 Tyrant Guards and a Venomthrope Brood. This formation gives the big bug +6" of Synapse. It's basically a free Dominion, and the chance to take more non-FOC Venomthropes is a choice hard to pass up. However, the mandatory walking Tyrant makes things a bit hard, being the slow bastard he is. Can the tyrant be the swarmlord? - no. But you can make the Tyrant into a "Templant" with the Miasma Cannon and Shreddershard Beetles which makes it a devastating (and quite hard to kill) unit on the charge
  • Subterranean Swarm: A Trygon Prime joins a normal Trygon, a Mawloc, and three Ravener broods. The whole formation gets rolled as a group for reserves and once the Prime's location is found, everything can deep strike within 1" of the Prime. The Raveners can't move or assault, but they can still shoot and run. The main issue with this formation is the price, as this is a lot of dosh to spend on a deepstriking force. Main draw of this formation - I can't think of a single army that would be able to wipe out a Trygon Prime and (at least) 9 Raveners the turn after they arrive from reserves as well as focus on what may be charging across the board. Yes the price is high but even if it does not come in until turn 3 or 4 you can still do some serious late game damage.
    • The Apocalypse version makes only the Trygon Prime and Raveners mandatory, with the ability to add more Raveners, Mawlocs, and Trygons. They also make anyone who Deep Strikes within 12" of the Prime never scatter, grants Shrouded the turn they arrive, and forces anyone within 6" of them to test for pinning. Other than that, it still works the same way, but with a bit of extra insurance.
  • Living Tide: A Tyrant Node, a Synaptic Swarm, 3 Endless Swarms, a Wrecker Node and a Skyblight Swarm, all in one formation with a bonus 6" for everyone within synapse of the Tyrant Node (I.e. the only reason you should bother with the Norn Crown) free Fear for everyone, and a re-roll for the Endless and Skyblight Swarms when their gaunts/gargoyles die so they can return to reserves. JESUS CHRIST. This shit's practically an army in and of itself! If you're even able to field such a monstrosity in an Apocalypse game, rest assured that shit will be FUCKED. Just like your wallet. Here's what you need:
    • A Flyrant
    • A Tyrant
    • 1 full Tyrant guard brood
    • A Tyranid prime
    • A Venomthrope brood
    • 7 Warrior broods
    • 9 Termagant broods
    • 9 Hormaguants broods
    • A Crone
    • 2 Harpies
    • 3 Gargoyle broods
    • 3 Carnifex broods
      • That is 244 models as a bare minimum for 1 formation, I repeat, JESUS CHRIST, or a max of 714 746 models @ 18,732 points (remember that fucking everything can have a Tyrannocyte now, see [[1]]) but th- ho- HHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhnnnnnnngggggg-
  • Phodian Annihilation Swarm (Deathstorm): All the units of the Box get put in. Aside from all the normal benefits of the units, they also grant all units Stealth (and give 'Stealers Shrouded since they have Stealth) and the Spawn gives everyone Preferred Enemy while still alive. This is actually rather nice, as it gives the Warriors and Fex some nice cover and makes the Stealers practically untouchable in cover...provided they're not fighting cheesing fuckmongers with Ignores Cover out the ass.
  • Carnifex Crusher Brood (Apocalypse): Join 3-5 Carnifexes to get IWND. If more than three of them have Bio-Plasma and share LoS, they can make a combined Assault 1 Hellstorm attack with Strength equal to 4+the number of Fexes and AP2. Rest assured that even at it's lowest, it'll be mulching little guys and MEQ's.
  • Living Fortress (Apocalypse) - 2 Tyrants (1 possibly being Swarmlord) and 3 models of both Tyrant and Hive Guard. Doing this gives all nids in the formation Feel no Pain and anything within synapse of the Tyrant Preferred Enemy and Counter-Attack. They also can opt to form a Fortress of Chitin if they get shot at, getting Shrouded and upping their Armour by +1 at the cost of making all movement through difficult terrain. This is actually a very powerful formation, giving preferred enemy to everyone in Synapse Range, potential of 24" with the Swarmlord, is very helpful making many units have more reliable hits, e.g. Hierophant with preferred enemy for even more trolling.
  • Vanguard Infestation (Apocalypse) - 3+ Genestealer broods (with a Broodlord) join 3+ Lictors (One of which could be Deathleaper). They start in reserves and use the Lictor's Chameleonic skin to arrive, with the ability to force any food within 36" of them use their lowest Ld values. It doesn't help their survivability much, but it gives the Lictors meatshields.

Warzone Valedor[edit]

  • Cronecoven (Apocalypse): 3+ hive crones join in and for every vector strike after the first, add +1 strength
  • Eater Swarm (Apocalypse): 3+ Haruspexes (Haruspices?), 3+ Pyrovore Broods, 5+ Ripper broods. They all start in reserves and have IB Devour and outflank. Any character with LoS with them lose Ld equal to the number of turns.
  • Eye of the Hive (Apocalypse): 3+ warrior broods each with 5+ models Roll a d3 at the beginning of the game, and every unit that arrives after that turn gains Preferred Enemy to one codex. Also, units within 18" get to attack even if they are killed in close combat before their Initiative step.
  • Harpy Skyhunters (Apocalypse): 3+ harpiesand 3+ spore mine clusters. Harpies firing at a Flyer within 12" of a Spore Mine get Tank Hunter.
  • Kraken Tendril Swarm (Apocalypse): This includes 1+ Warrior Broods, and 3+ units of Gants or Gaunts (In broods of 20+), plus optional Gargoyles. The formation may, once per turn, make a 60" move that can't go within 12" of an enemy, but they may shoot afterwards. Also, every unit gains Outflank and Acute senses.
  • Leviathan Skyswarm (Apocalypse): This throws in 1+ Flyrants, 3+ Gargoyle Broods, 2+ Harpies, 0-3 Harpies, and an optional Harridan. When Gargoyles assault a flyer, they roll a d6: a 1-3 means that they get flattened, a 4-5 means nothing, and a 6 gives a glancing hit. Also, anyone with Skyfire shooting them loses -1 BS and if these guys Deep Strike, they can always avoid impassible terrain.
  • Sporestorm Brood (Apocalypse): 1+ Exocrine, 1+ Biovore brood of 3, and 3+ Spore Mines. The mines begin in reserve and can re-roll the scatter die so long as they're within 12" of another Tyranid. IF an Exocrine hits anyone within 6" of the Mines, he gets TL, while a Fex shooting any similar targets get to reroll all to-hit and to-wound rolls.
  • Tervigon Broodnode (Apocalypse): 3-5 Tervigons with Onslaught and Catalyst must nominate one as the queen. If the queen is killed, the formation is broke but it gets to spawn gaunts with any weapon they want (devourers), and each can roll 3d6 when spawning and you choose which which 3d6 to apply to every tervigon in the formation. It's all for massive hordes, but the doubles rule still counts.
  • Tyrannofex Gunbeast Brood (Apocalypse): 3-5 Tyrannofexes, with at least 2 of them using Rupture Cannons or Fleshborer Hives. Anyone shot and hit by these beasts get a special marker that makes any other Tyrannofex that shoots it get TL, Ignores Cover and Tank Hunter. Heavy Firepower to the MAX.
  • The Shadow Incarnate (Apocalypse): A Tyrant with 3 Guards and 2+ Zoanthrope Broods. This doubles the range of the SitW and gives anyone within 24" a +3 on their Deny rolls. Also, the Tyrant gets a new power called The Terror, which is a Nova Power with a range of 6" per Psyker in the formation (Presumably counting Zoanthropes as a group because Brotherhood of Psykers) with S2, AP1, Assault 10, Pinning, and Blind. Useful for only...Orks, Fire Warriors, and Guardsmen, all who would even begin to be frightened by S2. Blinding and Pinning are some rather handy ways to lock down pesky units.
    • Alternate Take: it takes fairly little investment to get your nova to hit the entire board (literally or figuratively). The volume of blinding and pinning fire will ensure a couple casualties and a little chaos... everywhere. This makes it sort of a force-multiplier more than just a weapon.

Shield of Baal: Leviathan[edit]

  • Hypertoxic Node: A Tyrant with toxin sacs joins the new Toxicrene and 3 spruced-up Venomthropes to gain the Toxicrene's ID on a 5+ to-wound. The Tyrant also gains the Toxic Miasma, which he (or any other members within 12") can use at any time. Definitely a nice way to tarpit shooting with the Venomthropes pumping Shrouded to protect a Flyrant.
    • Note: Nothing is stopping you from taking Wings on the Tyrant, so this can be used to gain 3(!) additional Elite choices and a Heavy Support. All you have to pay for that is an extra 10 points for Toxin Sacs on the Tyrant. You were going to take lots of Venomthropes and a Toxicrene in a Tyrannocyte anyway, right?
  • Neural Node: A Maleceptor leads 3 Neurothrope-led Zoanthrope broods. All it gives is an 18" SitW and can re-roll 1's when using powers. Yeah, the Maleceptor's still pretty shit, just slightly less so against psyker-heavy armies.
    • Note: Rerolling 1s is amazing when you are going to be throwing that many Charges around. The additional Shadow in the Warp-range may sound weak, but it does make it far easier to snipe those damn Farseers with Psychic Overload.
    • Note: Additional Shadow in the Warp range also makes it really easy, and rather fun, to kill of enemy characters with the new Nerothrope power with 3d6 vs. LD (at -3 via RAW with SitW)
  • Skytyrant Swarm: A Flyrant takes two broods of Gargoyles to use as ablative wounds and boost Synapse by 6". The Tyrant can roll Look Out, Sir on a 2+ and spend each one of them as a wound. The smart way to run this is to DS in there with your mob of flying wounds and then spam the shit out of their blinding acid and then blast them. Issue is that you'll always be gliding and if you all die, you give up 3 VP. Unlike the Skyblights, you can't roll to put them in reserves.
  • Sporefield: 3 Mucolid Clusters can join in 3 Spore Mine Clusters. They all gain Infiltrate and if anything ever dies, they can return to reserves on a 4+. Unlike the other ones, which might fork over all the kill-points, these guys get the safety of not forking over those points, but also being able to suicide themselves at the nearest flyer/MC/FMC and come back laughing! Buy a bunch and then buy some minimum Mucolids and maybe a Sporocyst in the main FOC, and watch them panic at all the Sporemines!
    • Note: As long as you have the models, always toss out one Sporefield at the very least. You get a playable Sporefield for no more than 90 points, they give no kill points whatsoever and they WILL play merry havoc with your opponent's movement phase in addition to raping any flyer stupid enough to come too close.
    • Note: Note that you are totally free to field an entire army of these things. Granted, you won't win any games (unless you get very lucky and manage to wipe out your opponent before all your mines go boom) but it will be hilarious to watch your opponent trying to get the hell away from up to 33 Mucolids and 101 normal spore mines in 1000 points (and even more hilarious shenanigans at higher point levels).
  • Skytide: LUBE UP. THE FLYING CIRCUS IS BACK IN TOWN. Pack in a Skytyrant Swarm, a Sporefield, and THREE Skyblights. This is now an army. Not only does each formation keep their rules, but the Skytyrant Flyrant also gives other Tyrants within Synapse a boost of 6" on their own Synapse range and gives you a re-roll on any removed unit before they die for good. It's not as much as the Living Tide (and thank GOD for that), but it's still hella pricy with all those Flyrants. Here's what you need:
    • 4 Flyrants
    • 11 Gargoyle broods
    • 6 Harpys
    • 3 Crones
    • 3 Mucoloids
    • 3 Spore mine clusters
      • for a minimum of 127 models and a maximum of 379.

Building Your Army[edit]

The new Tyranid swarm is a great start with 10 Gargoyles; 40 Hormagaunts; 40 Termagants, 1 Carnifex and some Rippers. Also get the Wrath of the Hive Mind Box (No longer available): for the same amount of money you'd individually buy a Hive Tyrant, Tervigon and a trio of Warriors you get that and 20 extra Termagants. For the Tyrant get either the wings or some Tyrant Guard: if you go with the latter the Swarm Lord is an option for you. Push 30 termaguants into one unit and keep the rest for spawning. You now have a good 750-1000pt army. Get some elites! They're not the best slot now but every army needs SOME, Venomthropes, Zoanthropes and Hive Guard are all good and neatly fill 3 elite slots. Allowing for 150 points of upgrades this is about 1350 points.

The central power of Tyranids this edition is in swarms of units. Among the best performers for the army are Hormagaunts and the swarm-producing Tervigon, but Termagants armed with Devourers (called Devilgaunts) aren't half bad either with a bit of cover. Thanks to Warriors being troops, it is possible to build an army with an elite focus as well, but the Tyranids don't take to such list building strategies as well as certain other armies do. This is mainly because hidden powerfists will put an end to Warriors in an eyeblink, preventing them from making safe assaults into any Space Marine unit toting one.

Unfortunately, armies with a great deal of attention to monstrous creatures will often find themselves fragile and horrifically outnumbered. A bit of number crunching reveals that, per point spent, a carnifex is not all that much more durable than a bunch of hormagaunts in cover, meaning that small arms are no less effective against them and heavy weapons are an unnecessary Achilles heel. Some of the newer monstrous creatures with six wounds, such as the Trygon, keep it together better but just can't do everything the army needs thanks to their high cost and few numbers. The Nidzilla list is still pretty effective, but it takes careful planning.

  • General List Building - On some part, Tyranids have very few options to choose from once they have selected the models they wish to use. For example, Hormagaunts have only two biomorph options: adrenal glands and toxin sacs, and the same is more or less the case for Termagants, Gargoyles, and several others (plus or minus one or two weapons and biomorphs). The strong point of the army is not in mutable units or myriad alterable roles this edition. Hence, the following is a list of the three most common biomorphs and their most prominent uses:
    • Adrenal Glands - This biomorph grants Furious Charge and Fleet to the model it is equipped to. Its foremost use is increasing strength to better damage vehicles; while marginally less useful against infantry than Toxin Sacs, when the two are used alongside each other, basic Tyranid infantry become among the deadliest anti-infantry in the game (for a price, that is: it is often better to choose one biomorph or the other). Unfortunately, in several cases, adrenal glands got a noticable price increase.
    • Toxin Sacs - Toxin Sacs cause the model's close combat attacks to be inflicted with a 4+ Poison, which is quite potent against enemy infantry and monstrous creatures (I'm looking at you T 10 great unclean one). They are offered to all Tyranid monstrous creatures and change them from a 2+ wounding to a 2+ with a re-roll. However, they have the tendency to be very useful on infantry units, such as Hormagaunts.
    • Regeneration - Typically expensive, this biomorph allows a model to roll one die at the start of your movement phase, separately from any It Will Not Die it may have. On a 4+, a wound is recovered up to the model's maximum. Though available to Carnifexes, Hive Tyrants, and Harpies, it is a choice that is most useful to six-wound models like Trygons or Tervigons. When placed on a Tyrannofex, the model becomes pointless to shoot at; after all the work it takes to wound one, it's completely demoralizing to watch it just recover the damage. However, it is usually quite costly to be putting on any model without crucial importance to the army as a whole. It is rather cheap on Tyranid Primes, though, and not so bad on Harpies, either.
  • Harpies - Harpies are flying Monstrous Creatures. At first glance, they're expensive and fragile since Strength 10 weapons can instant-kill them, and they only have a 4+ save. To make the Harpy worth the investment, a Tyranid player must provide it with cover and provide enough immediate threats to make targeting the Harpy itself a less demanding proposition.
    • Role: The Harpy shoots, providing ranged support to the Tyranid army. Armed with its choice of Stinger Salvo or Cluster Spines and Stranglethorn Cannon or Heavy Venom Cannon, it can be tailored against infantry or modest tank suppression, typically preventing enemy armor from firing by scoring stunned and shaken results and slowly chipping away at HP. Although they are not geared for close-combat, Harpies can provide secondary melee support if desired on account of having a special rule that reduces the initiative on the enemy unit by 5 when it charges. Although this secondary role is more situational (Tyranid models as a rule have some of the highest initiative-values in the game), against similarly high-initiative enemies like Eldar Harlequins, the results can be meaningful if properly pulled off.
    • Purchasing Harpies: At lower-point levels, the Harpy isn't needed since the Elite anti-tank options are generally sufficient for dealing with enemy armor; at higher point-levels, more durable anti-tank firepower can be had in the Heavy Support slots. What Harpies do is allow Tyranids a degree of flexibility, allowing them to more freely choose alternative slots in the Heavy Support or Elite slots.
    • Pro tip: Harpies + Gargoyles = reducing most units to WS 1 before they get to strike.
  • Hive Crones - Hive Crones are what the fluff wants us to use to deal with enemy fliers so lets take a look at them. Initially, they suffer from the same issue as the Harpy - expensive and fragile (for a MC, T5 and a 4+ is still all right). However, from there the Crone just gets better. It has 4 haywire missiles that re-roll to hit against enemy fliers, making it surprisingly good at shooting down enemy fliers. However, the key point is its special vector strike. Against enemy fliers it deals out D3 S8 AP2 hits against the side armour, which is never higher than 12. That is very frequently a toasted flier, especially if you then proceed to fire missiles behind the Crone into the mostly dead enemy flier. But be careful. While the Hive Crone is capable of Alpha Striking most enemy fliers to dust in one turn, barring that almost certainly crippling them, it remains vulnerable to being alpha struck itself. If at all possible, when the enemy brings fliers start the crone just behind the midpoint of the field in glide mode behind cover with a venomthrope nearby for increased cover saves. Then, with the crone still alive following the shooting of the arriving flier, go into swoop mode and engage directly.
  • Hive Guard and Zoanthropes - The two foremost solutions to armored vehicles in the Tyranid codex, these models must appear in every Tyranid list that expects to encounter tanks or armored transports - and let's face it, tanks and armored transports are in almost every serious army list out there in 7th edition. One is better for busting transports while the other handles heavy armor as if it were blasting retarded, wingless goslings with a twelve gauge shotgun; one shooting phase, one kill tends to be the normal for a full unit of either model. Hive Guard and Zoanthropes are completely in their own league as far as anti-armor power is concerned, outclassing everything else in the codex by embarrassing miles (well... along with a carnifex with crushing claws). Zoanthropes do have some trouble dealing with Psychic Hoods, but that aside, it is usually wise to figure how many points are going to be spent on Hive Guard and Zoanthropes before adding any more units to the list.
  • Tervigons and Termagants - The two models really must be addressed together when list building because one is as good as useless without the other in most cases. The Tervigon, which can spawn 3D6 Termagants at the end of each movement phase until it rolls doubles. All Termagaunts within 12" of the Tervigon always have Counter-attack as a half assed synergy. The drawback is that, should the Tervigon die, nearby gaunts can take damage, but thanks to six wounds, a toughness of six, and a relatively non-threatening profile, Tervigons don't go down all that commonly if youre playing against someone who has never faced tyranids. Anyone competent in this game knows what these guys do and will make this their, at lowest, 3rd priority. Hide him well. Tervigons can, with luck, receive a psychic ability to give itself and an entire unit Feel No Pain, so in short summation, one Tervigon turns a unit of sniveling, weakling Termagants into a unit of half-decent meat shields. Furthermore, whenever Termagants are purchased, a Tervigon can be included as a Troops selection, so there's honestly very little reason to ever take one without the other. But it must be a full 30 man squad.
    • Role: Both models are Troops first, meaning they are best used to jealously hold objectives. A Tervigon can often be difficult to shake from a position it takes up, especially if it can find cover somehow, and as long as the Tervigon can continue to pump Termagants out onto the battlefield, there's never a shortage of bodies to claim ground. Unfortunately, neither unit boasts much overt power in general. Tervigons have a shooting attack, but it's mild due to modest ballistic skill, and the same is true of Termagants. Also, despite potential boost from counter-attack, Termagants are still not really all that great at fighting. They can lash out opportunistically, but the buff merely make them meh, considering your enemy must hit them for this 'buff' to activate. And returns diminish sharply in turns following a charge.
    • Equipping Gaunts: Gaunts may have numerous potential weapons: fleshborers and devourers. Spinefists, the third mainstay in the cold, are not more efficient at shooting than fleshborers, but they are still a free switch. One in every ten Termagants can also take a S2 flamer, but the cost of the gun is twice the base worth of a Termagant, so no luck there. Then there are also spike rifles, which are just spinefists with longer range, no AP, no twin-linking (still a free choice). Some may consider spinefists over fleshborers, as they perform the same against MEQ and marginally better against GEQ, although their drop in strength renders the gaunts useless against t5 and av10. The spikerifle does have a longer range, but that quality is harder to measure when it comes to gameplay. In all, it is likely that all three basic weapons are about as good as the others. In contrast, devourers boast Assault 3, S4, and an 18" range, all of which can be very potent at an expense of high fragility per point to the equipped models. Lastly, fleshborers are a cheap option that keeps Termagants expendable while still allowing them to pack a bit of punch against the rear armor of transports.


  • Protecting Monstrous Creatures: Monstrous Creatures have less wounds than a horde of gaunts, but are only one model. This makes them more vulnerable to single shot weapons, but less vulnerable to pie plates. In 7th edition, they can get cover saves far easier than in 5th. If there is a unit between them and the unit shooting them, they get a 5+. If they are at least 25% obscured by anything, they get a 5+. A wall of gaunts is all that is needed to shield them. Be careful in how the gaunts are positioned, however, so that you don't slow the Monstrous Creature. Hormagaunts are ideal for this, because they run 1D6+3 with fleet. Gargoyles are good as well, with their 12" movement. Keep the gaunts in front and shield the Monstrous Creature, then charge with them in a manner that leaves an opening for the Monstrous Creature to get in as well. Since most Tyranid ranged weapons have low AP, you will get far more cover saves from this than your opponent's units will. Tervigons can do this without even trying, since they spawn their own gaunt meatshields. If you are playing a "Nidzilla" army without many gaunts, venomthropes can provide a similar effect: just be careful to keep them alive. If at all possible, combine a gaunt wall with a venomthrope for 3+ cover monstrous creatures.
  • Dealing with Flyers: 7th edition is filled with Flyers. Stormravens, Stormtalons(aka flying potatoes), Doom Scythes, Burna-Bommaz, Vendettas and many others 1)arrive from reserve 2)can move up to 36" 3)require snapfiring to hit 4)can't be assaulted (normally). The following strategies are of use against Flyers:
    • Devourer: The Devourer can glance Flyers to death. Devilgaunts fire it S4 Assault 3. A mob of them are sure to hit the flyer; however this only works against AV10.
    • Dakkafex/Tyrant: Monstrous Creatures fire S6 Assault 6 Twin-linked per Devourer, and so can even glance a Stormraven with some luck. The Twin-linked is great when snap firing. The big weakness of the Devourer is the 18" range, and the fact that S6 isn't very effective against a Stormraven or a cheap Vendetta. However, on a Flyrant, due to the lack of having to snapfire, unless you are shooting against armour 12 (read, Stormraven) you will usually put down a 3HP flier in one salvo.
    • Impaler Cannon: S8 Assault 2 24" Ignores Line of Sight is a good deal. These can easily get glances on Flyers: if you can hit them. That's the problem: you only get 6 shots per Elite slot, per turn. Only one hits on average, and even that will only cause damage half the time against some of the heavier Flyers.
    • Vector Strike: This is the other tool in the Flying Hive Tyrant's and Hive Crone's arsenal: D3 attacks that automatically hit the side armor. This seems to be how Games Workshop wants Tyranid players to deal with Flyers. Unfortunately, these attacks are only at S6(or S5 in the case of the Harpy) (and S8 in the case of the Hive Crone!). It is still worth the attempt in many situations, however. It is statistically likely for this to at least do something and almost statistically guaranteed for a Hive Crone to do some significant damage.
    • Hive Crone: 4 S5 Haywire missiles that rerolls to hit against fliers and S8 vector strikes arguably make this the Tyranids' Heldrake (and it can start the game already on the table too). Just try not to let it get grounded, because then it's as good as dead. See the entry on Hive Crone tactics for how to avoid messy painful death.
    • Mucolid Spores: A surprise late addition, the Mucolid Spore has an obvious advantage of being far cheaper than most of these other options, being a troops choice for only 15 points, or just bringing a Sporocyst and spawning one the moment you see a flyer. These spores are special in that they're able to assault Zooming Flyers and Swooping FMCs, leading to an S8-10 AP3 hit on the side armor with no way to avoid it. However, this requires that the spores be led directly to the flyers so that they don't get misled to another target. If you use a Sporocyst, then you're locked to having only one spore per model spawned, making them even more precious.
  • Spore Mine Spam: Take 3 harpies, and 9 Biovores. Make your Biovores shoot at things they can't see to maximize your chance of missing. Every bullet spent shooting a spore mine is a bullet not spent shooting your real threats. You don't even always want to assault with your spore mines having them block passageways, and provide cover to your coming swarm can provide more then a couple dead models.
    • If you have a Sporocyst within midfield, then you'll have opportunity to throw out even more spore mines, as the living fortification can spit out a whole cluster of the things each turn and then cut them loose. Coupled with a Venomthrope, you'll have a fucking massive wall of covering pos
  • Deathleapers assassination... thing

Turn 0 Remember that Deathleaper is not an Independent Character (but is an infantry Character - like most HQ choices, In or MC), and thus works alone, but you could always shoot for a combined charge. watch and wait. Hope that the deathleaper passes LD test (he has 10 so your probably okay) Turn 2 charge into the warlord as quickly as possible have the deathleaper issue a challenge which the enemy will accept because they'll be facing 20 genestealers. Defeat them at I7 with 6 attacks (you charged right?), WS 9 and S 6. Kill warlord. use hit-and-run Drink delicious tears. Use pheromone trail to deep-strike mawloc for added troll.

  • DAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKA: Tyrannocyte upgraded to one of the two cannon types, and 20 devilgaunts (in the pod)

On turn 2, deepstrike the Tyrannocyte within enemy lines. Then proceed to DAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKA the enemy to death with massed anti infantry shooting (or even anti tank if you can find armour 10 or bring venom cannons.

  • Neutralize: Harpy, and 10 Gargoyles. Assault the same unit with these guys on the same turn. The harpy gives the poor souls -5 to their initiative so the gargoyles strike before they do. Then use the blinding venom attack. Unfortunately, the Gargoyles can't force more than one Initiative test per phase anymore, but making it on a six for most units will be hell regardless. Combo with something to chop 'em with.
  • Tervigon Tackle:1 Hive Tyrant, 1 Tervigon, and 30 Termagants. Use Termagante to take Tervigon as a troop, and combo with Hive Commander to let the Tervigon Outflank. Giving an Electroshock weapon is strongly recommended so that the turn he shows up vomits some guy into your enemies ass and then prepare to harass em.
  • Blob of FUN: Take your new, shiny Patriarch and Primus and stick them into a blob of 30 hormagaunts. Now, this gets you a mob of 32 models with Stealth, Zealot, Infiltrate AND Hit and Run at I7. Hell, upgrade those hormagaunts to toxigaunts and mess up any MC that is stupid enough to get into charge range of this mob. Also works best with the Ghosar Quintus Broodkin formation, because you want Stealth and Shrouded (on turn 1) on those guys. And if your Magos or Patrarch gets invisibility, just play this[2]. As of the latest FAQ draft, this may no longer be feasible: [3]. But remember that these new drafts are just that, drafts, not official yet and still subject to change. Since GW is hearing feedback for them before release (hearing being the keyword, not necessarily listening, but even that much is more than they've done in a long time), if you don't like Genestealer Cults being Allies of Convenience for Tyranids, now is the time to actively complain about it.